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Proposed repeal of parental notification law sparks heated exchange

Friday, Dec 20, 2019 - Posted by Rich Miller

* From a press release entitled “March For Life Chicago Denounces Personal PAC for ‘Predatory Behavior…Preying on Minor Girls’…

March For Life Chicago is condemning abortion-promoting political group, Personal PAC, for attacking the rights of Illinois parents.

“This is purely predatory behavior by Personal PAC and Planned Parenthood of Illinois,” stated Mary Kate Knorr, March For Life Chicago board member. “They are preying on minor girls and strategically forcing parents out of the conversation to cash in on their vulnerability. This is a direct attack on the rights of parents - not just across the state, but across the Midwest.”

The abortion lobby’s latest move is to seek repeal of Illinois’ 1995 Parental Notice of Abortion law. Personal PAC’s president, Terry Cosgrove, is quoted saying that the proposed 2020 legislation, is “the most important bill coming up.”

An attempt to overturn the 25-year over law would eliminate one of the few protections remaining for Illinois women and children.

According to Knorr, “Repealing this law does not protect girls in crisis; on the contrary, it protects their abusers and traffickers by opening the door for coercion and forced abortions. Parental Notification Laws are known to save lives, as they discourage many teenage girls from receiving abortions. In the state of Illinois alone, statistics show that more than 1,000 lives are saved every year because of the Parental Notice of Abortion law. In fact, since 2012, the rate of teenage abortions has decreased by 55% in Illinois.”

The March for Life Chicago is issuing a call to action. “As Personal PAC zeros in on this piece of legislation for the coming year, it is essential that we, as pro-lifers, do whatever we can to combat their tactics,” explained Knorr. “We cannot let abortion promoters in Illinois get away with this. We expect this obscene move to supercharge life advocates throughout the Midwest, to make their voices heard at the January 11 March For Life Chicago and beyond.”

* I asked Terry Cosgrove for a response…

It is no surprise that those who seek to outlaw abortion for all women, under all circumstances for all time harbor absolutely no concern for the health and safety of young women.

The fact remains that a large majority of young people voluntarily tell a parent about an unplanned pregnancy. For the minority of teens who do not talk to their parents, it is usually for good reasons, including fear of physical and emotional abuse, loss of financial support, homelessness, fear of being forced to carry a pregnancy against their will, or other serious family problems such as a parent who is ill or imprisoned.

This is why over 35 Illinois affiliated organizations support repeal of this dangerous law, including American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health, National Association of Social Workers, and Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.

These groups, as well as many others, have the health and safety of young women at the core of their mission, unlike the self-named “pro-life” extremists who never disappoint when it comes to the complete disregard for the health and safety of young women living in the real world.


  1. - Anyone Remember - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 2:55 pm:

    “An attempt to overturn the 25-year over law would eliminate one of the few protections remaining for Illinois women and children.”

    Protection? Maybe it is in the world of Norman Rockwell & Phyllis Schlafly, but not in the world with the likes of Josef Fritzl.

  2. - A Well-Regulated Commenter - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 2:57 pm:

    ===statistics show that more than 1,000 lives are saved every year because of the Parental Notice of Abortion law===

    Show your work.

  3. - TheInvisibleMan - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 3:13 pm:

    “Show your work.”

    They obviously are counting abortions that didn’t happen because a parent refused when notified, as “saved lives”.

    In fact, I’d bet that more than 1,000 number is the exact number of parental refusals and nothing more.

  4. - Moe Berg - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 3:15 pm:

    “Preying on minor girls” has one meaning and one meaning only. That’s what Jeffrey Epstein did. It’s a gross misuse of language that discredits Ms. Knorr and her organization.

  5. - cdog - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 3:22 pm:

    Isn’t there a provision in the law that allows a judge to give consent in lieu of an unfit/dysfunctional parent?

    If there is, these are nothing more than straw men indulging on red herrings.

    Regardless, the law should stand.

  6. - Downstate Illinois - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 3:28 pm:

    Children don’t have the right to make such decisions. They are not adults. The law doesn’t recognize their ability to make such informed decisions on their own. That’s why parents exist.

    This is backdoor approach to eliminating age of consent laws. Obviously someone old enough to terminate a pregnancy is old enough to engage in the activity that created the pregnancy in the first place.

    Likewise the logic behind the argument for legal abortion is the argument for legalized prostitution - a woman has the right to control her body.

    Of course then we can really start to talk about predatory behavior.

  7. - John H - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 3:34 pm:

    It gets tiresome, this “the other side doesn’t care about _____” nonsense.

    One side believes the notification laws may cause pregnant girls to endure trauma or abuse if their parents are notified of abortion. They have a point. They do not hate girls.

    The other side believes that if the parent is not notified, abuse may get covered up. They have a point. They do not hate girls.

    Neither side in general hates girls, they both have legitimate concerns. Grow up, folks, and make a reasoned argument and quit demonizing those who disagree. They may in fact have a point.

    As a parent, I believe I have the right to know if my daughter has an abortion, especially if her pregnancy is the result of abuse. I also realize that some daughters may get raped by their father, and not want to tell their parents… but I also believe that those are the cases where something needs done and not covered up.

    I realize many fine people disagree with me. So let’s try talking rather than smearing.

    Very, very few of us in this conversation hate girls or have contempt for them. That’s not a valid argument, it’s an attempt to silence those you disagree with. Enough already.

  8. - Politix - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 3:39 pm:

    “Isn’t there a provision in the law that allows a judge to give consent in lieu of an unfit/dysfunctional parent?”

    This provision COULD work, if immediate, emergency hearings were called as needed. My guess is the slow pace of the court system makes this provision a moot point for those in need of an abortion.

  9. - Politix - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 3:41 pm:

    Not to mention, with the provision, the decision would be left to yet another person who shouldn’t have a say in the matter.

  10. - Nick Name - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 3:43 pm:

    ===March For Life Chicago is condemning abortion-promoting political group, Personal PAC, for attacking the rights of Illinois parents.===

    So what. The pro-life movement surrendered what little moral standing it had left when it sold its soul to Donald Trump.

  11. - Perrid - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 3:54 pm:

    “It is no surprise that those who seek to outlaw abortion for all women, under all circumstances for all time harbor absolutely no concern for the health and safety of young women.”

    Yes Terry, that is absolutely the only possible interpretation, free of any kind of bias or hyperbole. You are a super serious person that should be taken seriously. And this statement is absolutely helpful in getting what you want, and is completely unlikely to put anyone’s back and and make them want you to fail just because you are you. Good work, keep it up.

  12. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 3:55 pm:

    ===The fact remains that a large majority of young people voluntarily tell a parent about an unplanned pregnancy.===

    Show your work here as well.

  13. - DuPage Saint - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 4:03 pm:

    This is hard because dealing with children. Yes there is a judicial over ride that a kid can use. Only saw it done once
    Maybe doctors schools and planed parenthood should have to point it out. And maybe Public Defenders should have to represent them

  14. - TNR - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 4:13 pm:

    == abortions that didn’t happen because a parent refused ==

    In the heat of this debate, some folks lose sight of the fact that Illinois has a parental notification law, not a parental consent law. That means a parent can’t legally stop the abortion. So I’m not sure how that “1000 lives saved” statistic is generated.

    And the number of abortions has decreased steadily (among both women under and over 18 years old) as birth control is more widely used, not because of parental notification laws.

    Having said that, I don’t think the Illinois law is unreasonable. No easy answers here. It’s awfully hard to balance parental rights with the rights of pregnant girls who live in abusive environments.

  15. - Lester Holt’s Mustache - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 4:16 pm:

    I gotta agree with Nick Name here. I probably fall closer to the pro-life side of this issue generally, but I won’t be lectured to on issues of morality by trump supporters.

  16. - Cosgrove - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 4:28 pm:

    “March For Life Chicago Denounces Personal PAC for ‘Predatory Behavior…Preying on Minor Girls’…
    That’s a fascinating and ironic charge from an organization that is funded by the Catholic Archdiocese.

  17. - Soccermom - Friday, Dec 20, 19 @ 4:42 pm:

    John H -

    You ask for a conversation, which is a reasonable request.

    So let me address a couple of points. Independent research indicates that the vast majority of pregnant teens tell at least one parent. In a 1992 study of states without parental involvement laws, a majority (61%) of young women under age 18 reported that at least one parent was aware of their decision to seek abortion care. Parental involvement was even higher among younger adolescents; over 90% of 14 year olds and 74% of 15 year olds reported having at least one parent involved in their decision. Although those numbers are old, I don’t think girls are less likely to disclose to parents today that they were in the early ’90s.

    Research also finds that girls with close family relationships are most likely to talk to a parent about an unplanned pregnancy and that girls who do not disclose often cite the fear of abuse or other retaliation from their parents as a reason.

    As a mom, I would have wanted to know if a young teen daughter was having an abortion, and I hope that my daughters would trust me enough to tell me. But I think we need to consider that, in a chaotic family situation that involves sexual abuse, disclosure of a pregnancy is not likely to have a positive outcome. “Something needs to be done and not covered up” is absolutely right — but keep in mind that many, many moms respond to this toxic information by denying it — or even blaming their daughters.

    We need to keep in mind that the judicial bypass system is complicated and scary for a young girl who is already overwhelmed by her situation. True story — I have to appear in a court case next month, and I have a stomach ache just thinking about it. And I’m a grown woman with an attorney. Even if a girl knows how the judicial bypass system works, I’m not sure how easy it would be for her to access it, and I have no idea how much time the process takes. I also am guessing that very young girls may put off taking action because of fear and anxiety. So adding a time-consuming bypass system to the calendar could result in worse outcomes for the girls.

    It’s a fair question to ask how abortion providers engage with very young girls who show up without parents beside them, and what kinds of counseling are available.

    You sound like a reasonable dad, and I would hope that you would be able to approach this tough conversation with love and support. Quite frankly, this issue was tough for me when my girls were teens, because I hated the idea that they might go through a difficult experience alone because they didn’t want to disappoint me or their dad. But ultimately, I decided that I couldn’t support a law that made me feel better but would make the lives of girls living through hell even worse.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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