Illinois doctors will no longer be required to notify the parents of underage teen girls 48 hours before their scheduled abortion thanks to a repeal law signed by Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Friday.
The Democratic leader claimed that the previous law, signed in 1995 punished the most vulnerable minor girls who were “victims of rape and physical abuse in unsafe homes,” reports said though he didn’t provide any statistics to support his contention.
“With reproductive rights under attack across the nation, Illinois is once again establishing itself as a leader in ensuring access to health care 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,” he added.
The previous law, called the Parental Notification Act, did not take effect for almost 20 years because it was challenged in courts. The law required parental notification, not consent, which is the same in around 24 states.
Fox 32 noted that some Republicans voiced opposition to the repeal by the Democrat-controlled legislation.
One of them, state Sen. Jil Tracy, noted that the parent-child relationship is the “most basic human relationship that we know and it is a precious bond for a lifetime, most critical during a young girl’s, a minor’s, formative years. We have enough problems in the state without creating more wedges between children and their parents.”
And GOP state Rep. Avery Bourne noted that the repeal is “out of touch with a majority of Illinoisans” while adding that he believes it will put minor girls in “danger,” the Chicago Sun-Times noted.
“Parents deserve the right to know if their minor child is seeking any major medical procedure,” he said. “Instead, today the Democrat majority has chosen to recklessly push those rights to the wayside.”
The law signed by Pritzker also creates the Youth Health and Safety Advisory Working Group, which will be charged with identifying “laws and policies that impact parenting and pregnant youth under the age of 18,” Fox 32 reported, adding: “This group will focus on reproductive safety for pregnant and parenting youth as well as preventing human trafficking, the governor’s office said.”
Pritzker said he would appoint at least two people to the four-person panel who are under the age of 18. The group is tasked with producing a report containing recommendations by July 1, 2023.
“Access to sexual and reproductive health care starting at a young age is crucial,” State Sen. Melinda Bush (D) said. “By providing resources and education, we are giving young girls vital information to allow for free expression and bodily autonomy. The signing of House Bill 370 signals to young women that we are prioritizing them today and for generations to come.”
Some critics may conclude that the law appears to be aimed more at women who don’t live in Illinois.
“According to [data] from the Illinois Department of Public Health, more out-of-state patients are traveling to Illinois to” get an abortion, Fox 32 noted.
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