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

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 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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