Abortion advocates fought persistently against the Illinois Parental Notification Act of 1995, but after almost 20 years of legal battles, the law is finally taking effect and saving lives.
The 1995 law requires that a parent or guardian be notified at least 48 hours before a girl under the age of 18 has an abortion. The Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the law could stand in 2013 after abortion advocates spent years challenging it in court.
A new report of Illinois abortion data indicates that the law likely caused a major drop in the abortion rates among minors in 2014, the first full year it took effect. In 2014, the abortion rate for minors fell by almost 28 percent, according to data released on Dec. 22 by the Illinois Department of Public Health.
The figure represents more than 500 babies lives who were saved, according to a blog post from The Attorneys at Mauck & Baker.
“As we argued to the Illinois Supreme Court, minors are best served when they are fully informed and can benefit from their parents wisdom and support,” said Richard Baker of Mauck & Baker. “Each young girl is important. Parents are important. And each unborn life is important. About 2000 years ago, unto us a child was born the Messiah. We are honored to have a part in seeing 500 children born in Illinois who may someday come to faith in Him.”
The state report shows a total of 38,472 abortions in 2014, a decrease of 6 percent, or 2,279 abortions, from 2013. The 2014 abortion numbers are the lowest rates in Illinois since Roe v. Wade in 1973, according to the attorneys’ blog.
Parental notification laws have been shown to reduce abortions in other states, too. A study by Michael New, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Alabama, found that parental involvement laws reduce in-state abortion rates for minors by approximately 15 percent.
Though widely supported by Americans, parental notification laws are often challenged by abortion advocates who oppose all restrictions to abortion. For many years, Illinois was the only Midwest state without a parental notice or consent law in effect, and thousands of abortions were performed in Illinois on non-resident minors, who went there to escape or even evade their own states’ parental notice or consent laws.
There are 38 states that require some sort of parental notification or permission before a minor can get an abortion.