Minors in Illinois Now Able to Get an Abortion Without Notifying Parents

On Wednesday, a law took effect in Illinois that repealed the requirement for minors seeking an abortion to notify their parents. The law was signed by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker in December, repealing a law passed in 1995 (which was not put into effect until 2013 due to lengthy litigation over the law).

As per the Center Square, in a stop-off for his campaign in East St. Louis Wednesday, Pritzker promised to keep abortion legal in Illinois, including for minor girls without their parents being informed. “Just across the river, Missouri Republicans have nearly eliminated women's ability for women to access vital reproductive health care,” Pritzker declared. “While here in Illinois, we've fought to expand women's rights.”

The 1995 law included a judicial bypass provision. According to ABC7, in the past, the ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union) of Illinois assisted hundreds of teens who were seeking an abortion but were unable or unwilling to inform their parents or guardians. 

“It was emotionally challenging for young people to have to share the most intimate details of their lives and their family situations with a judge,” said ACLU of Illinois staff attorney Emily Werth.

More than 1,100 women younger than 18 had abortions in 2020 in Illinois, as per the latest data. At present, 37 states require some kind of parental consent or notification. According to the Guttmacher Institute, most states require parental involvement when it comes to a minor’s decision to undergo an abortion. The majority of states require the approval or notification of one parent only, generally at least 24 or 48 hours prior to the procedure. However, some states require the participation of both parents. Some states require the minor and the parent to present an identification card issued by the government to the provider of the abortion or as part of signing a parental consent document. In a few states, parents must also prove that they are the parents. Some states permit adults or grandparents to take part as substitutes for the minor's parents. Many do not require parental involvement if there's an emergency medical situation or if the minor has been the subject of neglect or abuse.

In reaction to the law's coming into force, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, who is running as the Republican candidate for the governor's seat and is hoping to take on Pritzker at the end of this year, stated, “It's a shame that J.B. Pritzker is using something that's such an important issue to discuss to make political material. There is nothing else to discuss other except seeking to create something similar to it about politics.”

As per the Center Square, in 2020, more than 9,600 non-state residents had their pregnancies terminated in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. More than 6,500 of them were from Missouri.

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