The American Civil Liberties Union is pressuring Illinois lawmakers to repeal a state law that requires a parent to be notified before their underage daughter has an abortion.
Illinois has very few restrictions on the killing of unborn babies. It allows abortions for basically any reason up to birth and forces taxpayers to pay for them.
Now, one of the few remaining abortion regulations, the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act, is a target of the ACLU and other abortion advocacy groups.
The 1995 law 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.
Parental consent is a common requirement for most actions involving children – from medication and ear piercings to school field trips and participation in sports. But the ACLU is trying to portray the law as cruel and unjust.
“State law allows young people to make all other decisions during pregnancy …” Emily Werth, an ACLU staff attorney, told the Chicago Sun Times. “At the end of the day there are young people who are being harmed because this law exists, and it’s our duty to get rid of this harmful law that puts them at risk.”
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On Thursday, the ACLU of Illinois and Human Rights Watch released a report claiming the parental notification law “harms” young girls in the state, according to the report.
Margaret Wurth, of Human Rights Watch and the lead author of the report, said the law must be repealed because it “violates people’s rights.” She told the Sun Times that parents and guardians sometimes “humiliate” their daughters or prevent them from having abortions.
This spring, the state legislature is considering a bill to repeal the common-sense requirement. Illinois House Bill 1797 is sponsored by state Rep. Anna Moeller, D-Elgin, and it recently was assigned to the House Human Services Committee.
Far from extreme or dangerous, the parental involvement law protects children from coercion and abuse and ensure adults are involved in making important, irreversible and life-threatening decisions about their child and grandchild.
Illinois Right to Life said the parental notification law is a common-sense protection that helps girls and unborn babies.
If Illinois lawmakers repeal it, “underage girls couldn’t be prescribed Tylenol by a school nurse without parental consent but these girls could receive an invasive medical procedure without their parents’ knowledge,” the pro-life group said.
Illinois bans minors under 18 from using tanning beds, donating blood or getting tattoos without a parent’s permission. If Moeller’s bill passes, however, the state would allow girls as young as 12 to abort their unborn babies without even their parents’ knowledge.
The Alestle, a student newspaper at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, described the parental notification law as “controversial,” but polls consistently show strong public support for parental involvement.
Currently, 37 states currently require parental involvement (consent or notification in some form) before a minor aborts her unborn baby. A 2011 Gallup poll found 71 percent of Americans favor laws requiring parents’ involvement in a minor’s abortion decision.