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Senate votes to repeal Parental Notification of Abortion law, bill moves to House

Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021

[Bumped up to Wednesday morning for visibility.]

* Sun-Times

Illinois moved closer on Tuesday to no longer requiring a parent or other adult family member to be notified before a minor child receives an abortion, as the state Senate approved overturning a 26-year-old law that took nearly two decades to go into effect.

State Sen. Elgie Sims, D-Chicago, said the repeal of the Parental Notice of Abortion Act and the creation of the youth health and safety working group is a “necessary proposal to move our state forward to protect our young people — often those who cannot protect themselves.”

But one downstate Republican called the measure a slap in the face to families, arguing “this body is being used to take away the rights of parents.”

Along with repealing the parental notice law, the measure Sims sponsored also creates the Youth Health and Safety Act, which establishes the working group to ensure “full and equitable access to reproductive health care for all persons” statewide regardless of such factors as race or ethnicity, immigration status, age, education level or economic means.

* Tribune

The Democratic-controlled Senate voted 32-22 to repeal the parental notification requirement, with four members of the majority party joining Republicans in opposition. Five other Democrats did not vote.

The proposal, which has the support of Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker, now goes to the Democratic-controlled House, where its prospects remain uncertain. […]

“This is a necessary proposal to move our state forward to protect our young people, often those who cannot protect themselves,” said Democratic state Sen. Elgie Sims of Chicago, the measure’s sponsor.

Opponents of repeal — largely Republican lawmakers, religious leaders and anti-abortion groups — have sought to frame the debate as one about parental rights rather than about abortion access.

Democrats voting No: Crowe, Cunningham, Joyce, Loughran Cappel.

Democrats not voting: Belt, Cullerton, Harris, Hastings, Landek.

* AP

But with a 32-22 tally in favor of repeal, the count fell short of approval of all who make up the Democrats’ 41-18 advantage, showing the reticence among moderate Democrats on a law whose proposed repeal now moves to the House with two days left in the General Assembly’s fall session.

Republicans repeatedly point out that notification has the support of nearly three-quarters of Illinoisans responding to a poll conducted last spring. And they publicized the nearly 50,000 notices of opposition to the legislation that were filed electronically before the vote.

“It’s the most basic human relationship that we know and it is a precious bond for a lifetime, most critical during a young girl’s, a minor’s, formative years….” said Republican Sen. Jil Tracy of Quincy. “We have enough problems in the state without creating more wedges between children and their parents.”

Pro-notice advocates note that the 48-hour alert to a parent or guardian the law requires involves only notification, not consent. According to the Guttmacher Institute, of 38 states requiring parental involvement in a minor’s abortion decision, 21 require parental consent — in three of those, both parents must consent.

* WTTW

The repeal’s sponsor, Sen. Elgie Sims, D-Chicago said young people make up less than 10% of abortions in Illinois.

He said there is no legal obligation for parents know of other medical decisions surrounding a pregnancy, such as having the child or getting a C-section.

“The only decision when it relates to pregnancy, the only decision that a parent has to be involved in, is required to be involved in, is if the child choses to have an abortion,” Sims said.

He called the notion raised by critics that repealing the notification law is a slap in the face to parents “offensive.”

* ACLU Illinois…

Tonight’s action by the Illinois Senate to pass the Youth Health and Safety Act HB 370 moves Illinois a step closer to ending enforcement of the dangerous Parental Notice of Abortion Act. The measure approved tonight also helps identify resources for pregnant and parenting youth.

Over the last eight years, we have represented more than 575 young people who have been forced by this law to go to court seeking a judicial bypass because they knew they could not share their abortion decision with any of the designated family members. Ending this barrier for young people in Illinois is critical.

We are especially pleased that a majority of senators saw through the argument that PNA is not about abortion, only about parental “rights.” This is a fallacy. After all, the law only requires that young people share their decision about an abortion, not the decision to parent or place a baby for adoption. This has always been about deterring young people from access to abortion care, and nothing else.

We look forward to this bill moving through the Illinois House and being signed into law by the Governor. Many thanks to chief sponsor Senator Elgie Sims, chief-co-sponsor, Senator Melinda Bush, and all those who voted for the measure. Your leadership will help protect the wellbeing of young people in our state for years to come. This is public policy-making at its best.

* Sen. Rezin…

Senate Republican Deputy Leader Sue Rezin (R-Morris) issued the following statement after the Senate passed House Bill 370, which repeals the Parental Notice of Abortion (PNA) Act of 1995 with a 32-22 vote:

“Today’s vote is yet another attack on the rights of parents by the Democrat majority that will deny parents the opportunity to provide their daughters with the help and support that they need during one of the most difficult times in their life.

“By repealing the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle sent a clear message to the parents across the state that they believe parents have no right to know about their child’s health or health care decisions.”

* WCIA

Paprocki predicted Illinois would see “drastically” more abortions if the law is repealed. He joined with other pastors from the Chicago region who traveled to Springfield on a bus to rally against the push to repeal the law.

“The number of minors getting an abortion has gone down since the notification law went into effect,” he said. “Now, isn’t that a good thing?”

Many of the pastors support further restrictions on abortions. Pastor Calvin Lindstrom of Christian Liberty in Arlington Heights said he supports the recent abortion restrictions passed in Texas, and would like to see Illinois move in that direction. “I support it,” Lindstrom said. “I think it could go further to be honest with you.” He said he supports banning abortion even in cases of rape or incest.

* SJ-R

Sen. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro, blamed Gov. JB Pritzker, a Democrat, for the repeal.

“Time and time again, this governor has spit in the faces of families in this state,” she said. “He has shown his total and complete disregard for the rights of the family unit, and now he’s at it again, but he’s using this body.”

* Capitol News Illinois

Emily Werth, a staff attorney at ACLU of Illinois, responded that in Illinois, a minor who is pregnant no longer has to receive parental consent for any medical care. The pregnant minor could undergo a caesarian section, receive a vaccine or get any other medical care without parental notice or consent.

“And that is because the General Assembly has made the policy decision that when a young person is pregnant, it is in their best interests and all of our best interest that they have access to whatever medical care they need, without delay, without being put in harm’s way,” Werth said. “Abortion is one kind of medical care that they may need when they are pregnant. And it should be treated the same as any other kind of medical care.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

33 Comments
  1. - Precinct Captain - Tuesday, Oct 26, 21 @ 11:41 pm:

    Congratulations on the 32 for their bravery in standing up for young women. Shame on the others for their cowardice.


  2. - Abby normal - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 6:03 am:

    It’s just notification. I didn’t tell my parents everything as a kid. I’m sure my daughter doesn’t/hasn’t told me everything. I’m sure my mother didn’t tell her mother everything.
    So calm down.


  3. - MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 8:08 am:

    “Time and time again, this governor has spit in the faces of families in this state.”

    The governor wears a mask and practices social distancing, Sen. Bryant.

    Your partisan colleagues are the ones who are sneezing, coughing and spitting in the faces of Illinois families.

    – MrJM


  4. - Original Anon - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 8:11 am:

    One of the reasons for notification is that sometimes minors make ill-informed decisions (the same reason we have modified the juvenile justice system) and they may benefit from parental input before making a decision that will impact their life for years. For the egregious instances where notification of a parent is dangerous, the minor can get a waiver from court. No reason this sensible law should be changed.


  5. - Furtive Look - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 8:18 am:

    Can Republican legislators do anything but whine?


  6. - Squidward - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 8:21 am:

    What other major medical procedures can a child receive without parental approval?


  7. - Downstate - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 8:27 am:

    It seems that many of the challenges of society can be traced to the breakdown of the family. This only seems to exacerbate the problem.

    Removing the PNA is yet another step in undermining the parent’s role in their own children’s lives.

    If we decide that giving privacy to a child in an abortion decision is appropriate, then why would parent’s be entitled to know about the child’s grades or behavior while at school?


  8. - Fly like an eagle - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 8:33 am:

    == It seems that many of the challenges of society can be traced to the breakdown of the family. This only seems to exacerbate the problem.==

    If the child doesn’t want to notify the family then that child doesn’t trust the family member to be supportive. In other words that relationship is already broken.


  9. - Fly like an eagle - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 8:35 am:

    == What other major medical procedures can a child receive without parental approval?==
    Many. See above.


  10. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 8:36 am:

    ===What other major medical procedures can a child receive===

    It’s right there in the post. Please read before commenting here.

    And while I hate spoon feeding lazy people, here you go this one time…

    ===in Illinois, a minor who is pregnant no longer has to receive parental consent for any medical care. The pregnant minor could undergo a caesarian section, receive a vaccine or get any other medical care without parental notice or consent.===


  11. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 8:37 am:

    === It seems that many of the challenges of society can be traced to the breakdown of the family. This only seems to exacerbate the problem.

    Removing the PNA is yet another step in undermining the parent’s role in their own children’s lives.===

    Whew.

    “The family”… going full Jeanne Ives isn’t a great look or argument when things like incest/rape in families are reasons for abortions.

    But… the need to push “family” is too great.


  12. - Original Anon - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 8:40 am:

    As to other procedures without notification, the answer above is incorrect. Most, if not all, hospitals will require parental consent for any surgery or procedure on a minor, unless the minor is emancipated.


  13. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 8:41 am:

    === Most, if not all===

    You’ll need to cite the “all” part.

    Thanks.


  14. - Downstate - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 9:10 am:

    “But… the need to push “family” is too great.”

    Do you think parents should be notified if their child was involved in a felony or misdemeanor?

    Counseling needs and considerations, at a minimum, are easiest identified by a family.

    In the same vein, the repeal of PNA allows for the cover-up of sexual abuse of minors by adults, including family members, without the parents ever being told. Seems like a bad idea.


  15. - Cheryl44 - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 9:14 am:

    I work for a university and I’ve seen the level of parental involvement in their young adult children’s lives rise steadily over the last 25 or so years. At this point, any teenaged girl who chooses an abortion and chooses to not inform their parents have a really good reason for that second choice.


  16. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 9:18 am:

    - Downstate-

    ===… allows for the cover-up of sexual abuse of minors by adults, including family members, without the parents ever being told. Seems like a bad idea.===

    You mocked child molestation. I can show you where. It was directed at me.

    For me you are arguably one of the last people I’d want to be lectured to about this, considering you think it’s a joke or punchline.

    Your take on safety of children and parents is of the same ideal of “Ambassador of Chicago” type thinking.


  17. - Amalia - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 9:26 am:

    so a minor could give birth including via a C-section, and give up the baby for adoption (?) without the parents knowing. but the no voters are screaming about an abortion. ok then.


  18. - Downstate - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 9:27 am:

    “It was directed at me.”

    Sorry if you were offended. And you mocked me for asking that masks not simply be worn on the chin.

    “What about?” does nothing to protect the vulnerable, which I thought was the point of the post.


  19. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 9:35 am:

    === - Downstate - Wednesday, Oct 21, 20 @ 5:03 pm

    OW,
    Show me on the doll where … touched you.===

    You offended real victims.

    Now, and to the post and your comment, the alleged concern for families and victims, then you “decide” this is a smart take?

    ===It seems that many of the challenges of society can be traced to the breakdown of the family. This only seems to exacerbate the problem.===

    You don’t take seriously first the crimes, and this idea of “family” is written like a Jeanne Ives core belief.

    Many a time… “I thought they were such a good family”

    Behind closed doors, we don’t know.

    That’s, for me, the argument, not a punchline.


  20. - The Swede - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 9:44 am:

    True bravery for the four Dem Senators voting no. Another attack on the rights of parents. Abortions are going to increase with this repeal. Sad the majority will succeed on this repeal.


  21. - Downstate - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 10:08 am:

    OW,
    The doll comment was in reference to your near fixation with all things, Rauner. And your blase attitude on Illinois political leaders wearing their facemask on their chin was offensive to many, including my child, who is a front line medical professional.

    Regarding the topic at hand….PNA, the sexual abuse of minors, by family members is highlighted on a near-weekly basis as celebrities are revealing the horror they suffered.

    PNA was at least one safety net in identifying the beasts. Repealing PNA only protects them further.

    Having mentored for more than a decade, I’ve seen the challenges that so many children suffer in their home life. Protecting their abusers only
    adds to their misery.


  22. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 10:14 am:

    === The doll comment was…===

    … a mocking of child molestation, the trivialness you have with it as a punchline, and your belief that a joke like that is a “zinger”

    It’s sad, twisted, and trying to excuse it now isn’t helping.

    === And your===

    Whataboutism in this instance only reinforces that you disregard the victims of molestation and you justify your “joke” by comparison. My goodness. Wow.

    === Having mentored for more than a decade, I’ve seen the challenges that so many children suffer in their home life. Protecting their abusers only
    adds to their misery.===

    Whew. Wow.

    ===Show me on the doll where … touched you.===

    Counselor, heal thyself.

    You may be a real reason why children need this repealed.

    What child wants to go to anyone, like a counselor, who writes that molestation is a punch line?

    Trusting adults, those like counselors, some kids may need to look beyond where alleged help can’t be found.


  23. - Juvenal - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 10:56 am:

    Is there something in the repeal of PNA that prevents daughters from talking to a parent about their pregnancy?

    I didn’t think so, but folks sure act like it.

    If you are worried that your daughter might get pregnant and have an abortion without talking to you, that says a lot more about you as a parent than anything else.

    Maybe, I dunno, learn to talk to your kids.

    25% of girls are sexually abused in America.

    For Black girls, it’s 50%.

    When that abuse results in pregnancy, you want them to turn to…the parents who turned a blind eye to the abuse?


  24. - Shield - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 11:18 am:

    - Furtive Look - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 8:18 am:

    They have to get permission from their parents to stop.


  25. - All this - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 12:04 pm:

    == Abortions are going to increase with this repeal.==
    Cite please.
    It’s been my experience that the parents are the ones who want their minor children to get abortions when they get pregnant, not the other way around.


  26. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 12:19 pm:

    “Do you think parents should be notified if their child was involved in a felony or misdemeanor”

    Only if it involved straw men.


  27. - Downstate - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 1:41 pm:

    “the parents who turned a blind eye to the abuse?”

    In today’s society, dual working parents, or single parent families often rely on relatives to help with care. Sadly, those “helpful” relatives are sometimes doing so for nefarious reasons, only.

    PNA repeal advocates may have legitimate reasons for their position. But, they are clearly empowering sexual abusers by taking parents out of the equation even more.


  28. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 1:47 pm:

    === In today’s society, dual working parents, or single parent families often rely on relatives to help with care. Sadly, those “helpful” relatives are sometimes doing so for nefarious reasons, only.===

    So, what, you’re advocating for the 1950s, one parent at home, “keeping house” and kids safe?

    ===clearly empowering sexual abusers===

    That’s not the case if children who are molested/raped can themselves seek help, including abortions, without the worry of maybe the same abusers stepping in to deny a child help.

    It’s not a joke or a zinger, like you may believe it is.


  29. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 2:02 pm:

    First…

    ===It seems that many of the challenges of society can be traced to the breakdown of the family. This only seems to exacerbate the problem.===

    … Last…

    === In today’s society, dual working parents, or single parent families often rely on relatives to help with care. Sadly, those “helpful” relatives are sometimes doing so for nefarious reasons, only.===

    How can the breakup of the family be a mitigating factor… then also have parents turn to family who may be predators… also be a mitigating factor?

    If you don’t trust single parents, or dual working parents, or any family watching out for the safety of a child, you’d think allowing a child to find safety outside a dynamic you see both as a ruinous situation and a ruinous solution is good.

    Then mocking victims too….

    To the post to this,

    Good family dynamic, bad family dynamic, the victims themselves need advocacy not a look at their environment and blame the victims for their circumstances.

    Same as making a child go full term on a pregnancy as some other state seems to say is right and just and the governor says rapes are ending in his state.


  30. - joe - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 4:12 pm:

    FIRST: I do wish insights would add illumination without so much heat.
    BUT: I have not seen anybody say - I am OK if my daughter gets an Abortion with out my knowing. WHY?


  31. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 4:19 pm:

    ===I have not seen anybody say - I am OK if my daughter gets an Abortion with out my knowing. WHY?===

    Maybe because parenting, children, children having children, it’s not something anyone would want to face, as a family, or wonder for a child that decision they may face.

    Maybe… it’s also about what others face and not boxing a child in because of dynamics out of their control?

    Or… if men can’t have abortions, should they comment on them at all?


  32. - Slog - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 7:47 pm:

    Welp OW, by that standard those who don’t own guns shouldn’t have an opinion on them, which I’m perfectly ok with, are you?


  33. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Oct 27, 21 @ 7:56 pm:

    ===Welp===

    Both genders can choose to have a gun or not.

    If you’re that dense, you will need to troll others who will humor you.


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