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Illinois Was Most Likely State To Repeal Parental Notification Of Abortion, But It Didn't Happen

The U.S. Supreme Court
Ben Schumin
Flickr CC by SA 2.0
The U.S. Supreme Court

Laws to repeal parental involvement in abortion were proposed in three states this legislative season and Illinois’ was most likely to be approved. That’s according to an expert on state policy on abortion issues.

Elizabeth Nash the interim associate director of state policy issues for the reproductive health research and advocacy organization, the Guttmacher Institute. While many states adopted more restrictive abortion-related laws — in addition to Illinois — only Arizona and Texas considered action to repeal parental notification and/or consent, according to Nash. Arizona requires consent, while Texas requires notice and consent.

“What we've seen in in 2021, are mainly efforts in state legislatures to restrict or ban abortion,’’ she said, “and much less on the side of expanding access care.”

Nash said most progressive states’ legislatures focused on issues “of the day,” such as institutional racism, criminal justice and laws related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sponsors have said they plan to continue to push bills that would repeal Parental Notification of Abortion law in upcoming sessions. Illinois’ parental notice law has been enforced since 2013. It requires those under 18 to tell an adult relative or receive judicial bypass to terminate a pregnancy.

Meanwhile, Illinois could become the only state in the middle of the nation to allow abortion, if the U.S. Supreme Court overturns the 1973 case that legalized the procedure.

Last month, the Supreme Court announced plans to hear a case on Mississippi’s abortion ban on most abortions at 15 weeks of pregnancy or later. The case is considered one that could overturn Roe V. Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortion, Nash said.

Some states have trigger laws that will keep abortion rights laws on the books even in Roe is overturned.

That could happen, she said, “primarily where we see states that have protected abortion rights – in the west, and the northeast. Illinois is unique in the Midwest.”

Nash said 17 states have laws that would allow the states to ban abortion, if the Supreme Court overturns abortion rights.

Maureen Foertsch McKinney is news editor and equity and justice beat reporter for NPR Illinois, where she has been on the staff since 2014 after Illinois Issues magazine’s merger with the station. She joined the magazine’s staff in 1998 as projects editor and became managing editor in 2003. Prior to coming to the University of Illinois Springfield, she was an education reporter and copy editor at three local newspapers, including the suburban Chicago Daily Herald, She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Eastern Illinois University and a master’s degree in English from UIS.
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