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Legislature Didn't Act On Parental Notice Of Abortion Repeal

via Creative Commons

A measure to repeal Illinois' Parental Notification of Abortion law stalled in the General Assembly this spring, but supporters and opponents say they will continue the fight to kill or keep it.

Brigid Leahy, director of government relations for Planned Parenthood’s political action arm, says her group has been actively working for repeal of the law for the last three years. The law says an adult family member must be given notice of a teen’s plans to terminate a pregnancy unless a judge gives permission to bypass the rule.

“What is most important to us at Planned Parenthood is to make sure that young people are safe, that they are involving people that they trust in their health care decisions, and that they are not delayed by being forced into court over this,” she said.

Sponsors of the measure said the legislature ended before the bill could be considered.

But Bob Gilligan, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Illinois, said he believes the issue never came up for a vote in the state House or Senate because public opinion is against it.

“72% of Illinoisans support requiring an adult family member being notified by in the clinic, if their minor is seeking an abortion, and 58% of pro-choice voters support requiring an adult family member to be notified by a clinic if their minor is seeking an abortion,” he said.

He was referring to a March poll of 600 Illinois voters for the group “Parents for the Protection of Girls,” which opposes the repeal. Gilligan, like other supporters of the law, has said parents should be informed of such health care choices.

The law has been enforced for eight years.

Maureen Foertsch McKinney is lead editor of Illinois Issues' feature articles, working with freelance writers, and covering the equity beat. Maureen joined the Illinois Issues in 1998 as projects editor. Previously, she worked at three Illinois daily newspapers, most recently the suburban Chicago-based Daily Herald, where she served stints as an education reporter and copy editor. She graduated in 1985 with a bachelor's in journalism. She also has a master's degree in English from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
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