* Senate President Don Harmon on last night’s “At The Virtual Table” with Lynn Sweet and Laura Washington…
Q: You’re going to have a veto session coming up at the end of October. Given everything that’s been happening around abortion rights, given what Texas has done to restrict them, you have a chance in the veto session to repeal the parental notification [law] in Illinois, where if a girl needs an abortion, she has to [notify] her parents … What’s your view on that and should it and will it come up in the veto session?
A: I think many of us are horrified by what happened in Texas, and even more horrified by what didn’t happen in Washington DC, with the Supreme Court declining to intervene. I think that’s given many people pause and wondering if the next action the Supreme Court takes would be overturning Roe against Wade. In Illinois, over the last 15 years we have taken affirmative steps to make sure that no matter what happens in the Supreme Court a woman’s right to a comprehensive suite of reproductive health care services is available here in Illinois. I expect that we will turn to dealing with the last vestiges of that anti-choice of laws in Illinois as well as figuring out how best to respond to Texas. I was visiting with constituents this week who were telling me that local doctors are in fact getting patients coming from Texas now because of what happened there.
Q: So you do expect to take up specifically that parental notification and you have the votes don’t you to void it if need be?
A: We have a strongly pro choice chamber. I think we’re looking at that, as well as what we might do in direct response to the law in Texas.
…Adding… Rep. Kelly Cassidy was on the same program…
I left home when I was almost 17 and I’m incredibly thankful that I didn’t face this challenge, that I didn’t get pregnant. Because having to go back to the father that I ran from in the middle of the night, even to tell him, because frankly there’s very little difference between permission and notice. If I told my father, I would need proof that I told my father, which is him signing something that I told him. And if he doesn’t want to sign it, he’s not going to sign it. And so, we talk about notice as if it’s no big thing, but the truth is you can’t legislate good parental relationships, you can’t legislate how a family operates.