Illinois Senate Democrats approve plan to repeal parental notification of abortion law
SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) - Senate Democrats narrowly approved a proposal Tuesday night to repeal the Parental Notification of Abortion Act.
The current law requires doctors to contact an adult at least 48 hours before minors seek an abortion. Democrats hope to repeal it and give young girls the right to make that decision without going through dangerous situations.
Sponsors and advocates fighting for the repeal say many young girls have situations where it is unsafe or dangerous to tell their families. Some also note girls may not have a relationship with their parents at all.
The new bill could also create a Youth Health and Safety working group to help review laws that impact pregnant minors or those who may become pregnant.
However, Republicans called the working group provision smoke and mirrors compared to the repeal effort.
“As a mother and grandmother, I will not and I cannot silently standby as this chamber seeks to tie the hands of parents, allowing children to make decisions regarding their health without parental guidance,” said Sen. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro).
Proposal passed on a 32-22 vote
Sen. Elgie Sims (D-Chicago) noted young people make up less than 10% of the abortions in Illinois. Sims also said people arguing that this repeal could help sexual predators and traffickers are spreading myths.
“This is a necessary proposal to move our state forward to protect our young people, often those who cannot protect themselves,” Sims said.
The proposal passed on a 32-22 vote. Five senators chose not to vote.
Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) said the Pritzker administration continues to push proposals that invade the rights of parents. She noted controversial sex education bills for schools and health care mandates as examples.
“No matter what your political affiliation is and no matter what your abortion stance is, young children should not have to make these major medical decisions and emotional decisions alone without the support of people who are meant to care for them. There has to be a line,” Rezin said. “This is the line. Protect it and protect our children.”
This bill now heads to the House for consideration. Although, many feel it could face a tougher battle in the next chamber. In fact, some moderate Democrats don’t agree with the idea of repealing the parental notification law.
House Democratic leaders will have to gather enough support to try and pass the plan before the scheduled session ends on Thursday.
The proposal would take effect on June 1 if it passes out of the House and gets the signature of approval from Gov. JB Pritzker. The governor recently confirmed his support for the repeal effort.
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