Illinois’ minority families face multiple disadvantages, including statistically lower incomes as well as educational and health disparities. Why would the state’s lawmakers deliberately make the situation worse by repealing an existing law that two-thirds of minority voters support? That’s a question being asked by Parents for the Protection of Girls, a coalition of Illinois leaders dedicated to protecting girls from medical injury and sexual abuse and fighting the repeal of Illinois’ long standing Parental Notification of Abortion law.
Jon Jones, an African American parent and a pastor at the Tinley Park campus of Christian Life Center, is very concerned about the attempt that some legislators are making to repeal the law. He spoke at a recent press conference urging lawmakers to consider the facts and keep the current law in place.
On May 12, 2021, a video link was emailed to each of Illinois’ State Senators and State Representatives featuring testimony by Jones, who referenced a March 2021 poll of Illinois voters by the Tarrance Group, reporting that 72% of overall respondents support the requirement that an adult family member be notified prior to an abortion. That number was even higher among people of color.
“It’s worth noting that 76% of minority men and 74% percent of minority women support this law,” Jones remarked, adding that, “It’s clear that this law has the support of many across our state and it should not be repealed.”
“I am the father of a teenage girl,” Jones stated, “I love my daughter and I care very deeply about what goes on in her life. If she were to get pregnant and consider an abortion, I would want to know so my wife and I could help her deal with the unexpected situation because we love her. We feel it is our duty to protect and guide her. We are family and we deal with matters together. The state should not seek to interfere with our relationship.”
“The current law requiring that a parent or an adult family member be notified when a minor girl is seeking an abortion to us just makes common sense in a supportive family, which is the bedrock of society,” explained Jones. “I understand not every child comes from a home like ours and the needs of those children must be met – as they are in this law with the provided exemptions to notification – but it is also important to weigh the needs of loving families and ensure the government not do more to denigrate them.”
In addition to respecting parental rights and acknowledging that current law already provides for those situations in which minors may be at serious risk of violence or abuse, Jones believes that it is worth looking at other existing laws regulating the behavior of minors.
“When our state laws ensure that children can’t make their own decisions for accessing tanning beds, tattoos, or tobacco use, it seems unfathomable that the law would allow a minor to make a decision to access abortion without any adult guidance,” added Jones. “We know the potential severe physical and emotional consequences associated with abortion. “We cannot leave our children to face them alone.”
Read the Fact Sheet from Parents for the Protection of Girls here