The abortion chain Planned Parenthood is lobbying Illinois lawmakers to repeal a parental notification law that protects young girls from coercion and abuse and unborn babies from abortion.
Without the law, young girls could get secret abortions – or be forced into them by an abuser – without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
But Planned Parenthood is misrepresenting the matter, claiming the common-sense law is “harmful” because it restricts health care, according to a report from WSPA News 7.
“We know most parents love and care for their children,” said Brigid Leahy, of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action. “We know that most young people are going to turn to mom and dad in this situation. For those who can’t, this law is dangerous. It is harmful and it needs to be repealed.”
The ACLU and other pro-abortion groups also are pressuring lawmakers to repeal the law before the legislative session ends in May. However, House Bill 1797, sponsored by state Rep. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin, has been stuck in committee all year, according to the local news.
Illinois requires that a parent or guardian be notified at least 48 hours before their underage daughter has an abortion. For cases of abuse, it includes an exception that allows underage girls to make a request to a judge, rather than notify a parent.
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Parental consent is a common requirement for most actions involving children – from medication and ear piercings to school field trips and participation in sports. Illinois also prohibits minors under 18 from using tanning beds, donating blood or getting tattoos without a parent’s permission. If the pro-abortion bill passes, however, the state would allow girls as young as 12 to abort their unborn babies without their parents’ knowledge or consent.
Brook Bellow, a survivor of human trafficking, has been speaking out about the necessity of parental involvement laws. As a young teenager, she said she was raped repeatedly by her abusers and, when she became pregnant, forced to abort her unborn babies.
“Had my parents been notified, my mother would have known what city I was [in]. She would have known what street I possibly would have been near. She could have contacted law enforcement,’’ she said.
She and others with the Parents for the Protection of Girls coalition are urging state lawmakers to keep the Illinois Parental Notification law in place.
Mary FioRito, a mother of teenage girls and a spokesperson for the coalition, said it is important for parents to be involved in matters that affect their daughter’s health.
“We know the girls who have abortions tend to have higher rates of suicidal ideation and anxiety and depression,” FioRito told the local news. “We’re talking about parents knowing about an irreversible surgery being performed on their minor child.”
Parental involvement laws protect children from coercion and abuse and ensure adults are involved in making important, irreversible and life-threatening decisions about their child and grandchild. They also protect young victims of sexual abuse who may be forced or coerced into an abortion by their abuser. Research shows that these laws help save unborn babies from abortions as well.
Currently, 37 states currently require parental involvement (consent or notification) before a minor has an abortion. A 2011 Gallup poll found 71 percent of Americans favor laws requiring parents’ involvement in a minor’s abortion decision.