Young girls in Illinois now can abort their unborn babies – or be forced to by abusers – without their parents’ knowledge or consent after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill repealing the state parental notification law Friday.
Pro-life leaders described the action as “a dark and disgraceful moment in the history” of the state because it will lead to the abuse of more children.
Fox News reports the legislation that Pritzker signed repeals the 1995 state parental notification law, which required that a parent of an underage girl be notified of an abortion at least 48 hours prior to the procedure.
Though the law included a special provision for girls from abusive homes, the Democrat governor claimed the total repeal was necessary to protect “victims of rape and physical abuse.”
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“With reproductive rights under attack across the nation, Illinois is once again establishing itself as a leader in ensuring access to healthcare services,” Pritzker said, according to FOX 32 in Chicago. “This repeal was essential, because it was the most vulnerable pregnant minors who were punished by this law: victims of rape and physical abuse in unsafe homes.”
Illinois still requires children under 18 to have a parent’s permission before getting a tattoo, piercing or basically any medical care, but it no longer is part of the majority of states that requires parental involvement before an abortion.
When the bill passed in October, Republican lawmakers criticized Democrats for doing the bidding of the billion-dollar abortion lobby, rather than listening to voters and protecting children. They pointed to a recent poll that found 72 percent of Illinois voters support the parental notification law, including many who identified as pro-choice.
Strong opposition came from Illinois residents, too. NBC 5 Chicago reports residents submitted nearly 50,000 notices of opposition to the legislation in the fall, demanding that politicians keep the parental notification law in place.
One of the leading voices against the law, state Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Morrisonville, said the repeal will put girls in “danger” and strip parents of their rights, the Sun Times reports.
“Parents deserve the right to know if their minor child is seeking any major medical procedure,” she said. “Instead, today the Democrat majority has chosen to recklessly push those rights to the wayside.”
Bourne broke down in tears on the House floor in October when she begged Democrat lawmakers to consider what they were voting for, according to WIFR.
“As much as you want to write a big political statement about what you did to support women, voting for this is failing girls. And it’s failing good parents,” she said at the time.
Pro-life organizations, including the Catholic Conference of Illinois, worked for years to prevent abortion activists from repealing the parental notification law.
Bishop Thomas Paprocki of Springfield said the governor’s action Friday marked “a dark and disgraceful moment in the history of the State of Illinois,” according to the Catholic News Agency.
“It is striking how much this legislation does to provide cover, secrecy and darkness over evil deeds,” Paprocki said. “This legislative action violates the most fundamental rights and duties entrusted by God to parents to ensure the health and safety of their children.”
He lamented how the repeal will give “a free pass to sex traffickers” to abuse young girls in secret, and urged people to pray for the conversion of hearts.
“This most heinous offense against God and neighbor [abortion] is now made more easily accessible to minor children than tattoos or getting their ears pierced,” he said.
About 1,000 underage girls have abortions in Illinois every year, according to a report the ACLU of Illinois.
However, pro-life leaders fear that number will increase now that the parental notification law is gone. Research shows that parental involvement laws protect young girls and save unborn babies from abortions.
Currently, 36 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.
ACTION ALERT: Contact Gov. J.B. Pritzker with your complaints about his signing the bill.