by Steven Ertelt
March 7, 2007
Springfield, IL (LifeNews.com) — Members of the Illinois state House are slated to vote this week on a bill that weakens Illinois’ parental notification on abortion statute. Pro-life groups oppose the measure and say the Adolescent Health Care Safety Act is misnamed because it puts teens at risk without parental guidance and support.
They say the measure enables teenagers to have abortions behind their parents’ backs.
The measure, HB 317, allows an abortion business to notify a teenager’s siblings, relatives, or another adult such as a doctor or member of the clergy instead of the girl’s parents.
Zach Wichmann of the Catholic Conference of Illinois says his group is working to generate calls and emails to legislators urging them to oppose the bill.
"HB 317 purports to refine the parental notification statute, but it totally undermines it," he said in a statement LifeNews.com obtained. "There will be no real notification requirement (parent or otherwise) if this bill passes."
"A parent or legal guardian’s judgment and role cannot be substituted, and we should not look for political means to obviate or undermine a parent’s role in their children’s lives," Wichmann added.
Meanwhile, Karen Malec, of the Chicago-based Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, says her group opposes the bill as well.
She says that, because of the immaturity of the adolescent anatomy, teenagers who have abortions fall into a high risk group for breast cancer and subsequent premature births.
Last year, the Institute of Medicine included "prior first trimester abortion" as a risk factor for premature birth.
Cancer groups admit that an early first full term pregnancy reduces risk considerably, Malec explained.
Consequently, even Dr. Lynn Rosenberg of Boston Medical School, an expert witness for the Center for Reproductive Rights agreed during testimony in 1999 that the young woman who has an abortion has a higher risk than the one who has a baby.
"Parents are the best health care decision-makers for their children," Malec said in a statement sent to LifeNews.com. "They alone have a comprehensive knowledge of the family’s health history."
ACTION: Contact your legislators and let them know what you think of the bill. You can find the name and contact information of your state senator and representative on the web site of the Illinois General Assembly – https://www.ilga.gov.