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Supreme Court of the United States

Illinois Legislature Votes to Let Minors Access Abortion Without Parental Notice

By Natalie Allen posted on:
November 16, 2021

State governments require parental consent for a wide variety of activities for minors. For example, some states require a parent to be present if a minor gets her ears pierced or gets a tattoo. And as we all know, there are also several activities that are completely prohibited for minors, like buying cigarettes, buying lottery tickets, or in some states even using a tanning bed.

But beginning next summer in Illinois, minors will be able to undergo an abortion without parental involvement.

Last month, the Illinois legislature voted to repeal its long-standing law requiring that parents of a minor seeking an abortion be notified 48 hours before the abortion. Governor J.B. Pritzker has promised to sign the bill.

The repeal of the state’s parental notice requirement is a devastating blow to the safety of young girls and babies in Illinois. Now, parents can no longer protect their daughters from the medical and emotional harms of abortion and from their own immaturity.

This disturbing change is particularly baffling considering how popular parental notification laws are among both pro-life and pro-choice Illinoisians.

A recent poll found that 72% of Illinois registered voters believe that an adult family member should be notified before a minor has an abortion—including 58% of pro-choice voters. In fact, only 22% of those polled affirmatively supported the repeal of the law.

You may be asking yourself, “How can such a popular policy be so easily repealed?”

The answer is simple: instead of listening to their constituents, Democratic legislators in Illinois are catering to the abortion industry and its extreme activists.

Unfortunately, this isn’t limited to Illinois. Just this year we saw another overwhelmingly popular policy protecting women and babies fall victim to the abortion industry’s bottom line—the federal Hyde Amendment.

The Hyde Amendment prevents federal tax dollars from directly funding abortions in programs like Medicaid. It has been passed by Congress with strong support from both political parties for over 40 years. Consistent polling shows that a strong majority of Americans oppose having their tax dollars pay for abortions, but President Biden and congressional Democrats have been openly hostile to including the Hyde Amendment and its companion protections in this year’s federal budget.

It’s alarming to see such commonsense, widely-supported policies protecting women and babies repeatedly get the ax from government officials.

But we’re fighting back.

This year, while Congress and Illinois were rolling back abortion safety measures, states across the country enacted a record number of protections for life. In fact, 2021 saw the most state pro-life laws passed since 2011.

And next month the U.S. Supreme Court will hear Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case that could overturn Roe v. Wade. If the Supreme Court decides that Mississippi’s commonsense 15-week limit on abortion is constitutional, it will upend Roe v. Wade, freeing states to enact abortion laws based on the wishes and values of their citizens.

The majority of Americans oppose unregulated and unrestricted abortion, which makes sense—these laws are designed to ensure women and babies are protected. This includes parental notice requirements like the one Illinois just repealed.

ADF will continue to stand against efforts like Illinois’s that expand abortion. Every human life is valuable and deserves to be protected, and our laws must reflect that fundamental truth.

Natalie Allen

Natalie Allen

Legislative Communications & Initiatives Coordinator

Natalie worked as a lobbyist at the Family Foundation of Virginia and a grassroots associate at Heritage Action for America before joining the Alliance Defending Freedom team.

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