by Steven Ertelt
October 4, 2006
Springfield, IL (LifeNews.com) — One week after the state Supreme Court issued the rules necessary for enforcement of a parental notification measure the state legislature approved in 1995, abortion advocates have said they intended to propose legislation to water it down. That’s despite concern from pro-life groups that the notification law is not strong enough.
Several pro-abortion state legislators said Tuesday they would put forward a bill to replace the notification law with a new one.
The current notification law allows teenagers seeking an abortion who come from abusive home situations to obtain a judicial bypass allowing them to have the abortion.
But state Rep. John Fritchey, a Chicago Democrat, says navigating the judicial system is a difficult process for a young girl.
The bill would make more exceptions to the notification law, including medical emergencies, and would allow teenagers to avoid giving notification to a parent or guardian and give it to a clergy member instead. It would also allow teens to get counseling from a licensed medical professional who would certify the abortion without telling her parents.
Pro-life lawmakers told the Chicago Tribune newspaper they opposed the new bill.
"With all due respect to clergy, there will always be available one extremely liberal clergy member who all of the pro-choice groups will know will always approve the abortion," said state Sen. Kirk Dillard, a Hinsdale Republican.
State Rep. Terry Parke, a Hoffman Estates Republican who sponsored the 1995 law, agreed and said they it would only add to the ways parents would be left int he dark about their daughter’s abortion.
Tom Brejcha, president and chief counsel of Thomas More Society, a pro-life law firm that helped encourage the Illinois Supreme Court to finally write the rules, also opposed HB 5840.
“This bill, which its co-sponsors and Planned Parenthood describe as ‘new abortion notification legislation,’ is an outrageous fraud and an attempt to ‘put one over’ on the people of the State of Illinois and their legislators," he said.
"Any abortionist or ‘counselor’ working for an abortionist may simply write down ‘the reasons for not involving the minor’s parents, guardian, or other adult family members’ on a boilerplate form and family notice is utterly dispensed with," he said.
The bill comes at a time when one pro-life group says the existing law is not good enough.
The National Right to Life Committee says the Illinois parental notification law is inadequate because it allows a teenager to tell people other than her parents about the abortion and get it okayed.
"Illinois does not have a parental notification law, but rather a ‘tell anyone in your family’ law," NRLC state legislative director Mary Spaulding Balch told LifeNews.com.
"It allows an abortionist to tell the 18 year-old brother or sister that their 13 year-old baby sister is pregnant," she explained. "It would also allow notification to be given to a
step-parent, or a grandparent."
"While these people may be family members, they are no substitute for the parent," Balch explained. "A true parental notification law would require that the parent be notified, not just anyone who happens to be home."