Illinois Lawmakers Seek Repeal of Parental Notification for Abortion Law

Illinois’ state legislators are looking to repeal a law notifying parents of girls under the age of 18 who are seeking abortions. The current law, the Parental Notification of Abortion Act, mandates minors to consult a parent or parental guardian two days before getting an abortion.

Democrats Senator Elgie Sims and Representative Emanuel Chris Welch are leading the push to repeal this law which they view as a barrier to abortion access for minors. This comes on the heels of Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signing a new measure last month, the Reproductive Health Act, which expands access to reproductive care in the form of prenatal care, contraception, and abortion services.

“Men can make healthcare decisions of their own without having to give notice to a parent. Why can’t a woman?” said Rep. Welch. He added, “At the end of the day, I don’t want my wife and my daughter to be equal only in the confines of our home. I want them to be equal in the confines of the law. That’s what this fight is all about.”

The Realist Woman’s take:

Opponents of repealing the law say they worry about a girl not having the support of a parent when going through an abortion procedure.

I get that. I think anyone going through an abortion should have support. But according to youth organizer for the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health Deborah Holton, a minor confiding in a parent can be risky. The law mandating a minor to tell a parent they are seeking an abortion can lead to physical, financial and emotional abandonment by that parent or parents.

Abortions are personal and girls and women don’t make light of the decision to get one. They weigh every aspect of their lives and how it's going to impact them before making the decision to go forward with the procedure. They should have the right, no matter what age, to seek and receive an abortion if that’s what they feel is best for their lives. Parents aren’t always supportive and the politicians seeking to repeal this law are taking that into account.