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Anti-Abortion Advocates Say Lawmakers Going 'Against God's Will'

A small gathering of anti-abortion activists prayed in the Illinois Capitol Building Wednesday. It comes as lawmakers are considering whether to further relax the state’s abortion laws.

A little more than two-dozen people gathered to pray and sing with a Roman Catholic priest.

People who attended the rally received rosaries -- Roman Catholic prayer beads -- customized for anti-abortion prayer. Each bead is transparent and contains a representation of a fetus.
Credit Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois
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NPR Illinois
People who attended the rally received rosaries -- Roman Catholic prayer beads -- customized for anti-abortion prayer. Each bead is transparent and contains a representation of a fetus.

The Rev. Edward Ohm, based in Lincoln, said they were showing sorrow and regret for recent actions of the legislature — particularly this year’s new law protecting and expanding abortion rights.

“We want to follow what God wants us to do in this life, and some of the things that they’re promoting goes against God’s will in our life,” Ohm said after the service.

But some Democrats say more needs to be done on abortion. Their party controls both the Illinois House and Senate, and they hope to repeal the parental notification law when the legislature returns to Springfield this fall.

Among that group is State Rep. Chris Welch, a Democrat from Hillside and co-sponsor of the parnetal-notification repeal legislation.

“Sometimes, some families communicate better than others,” Welch said. “But I don’t think that’s a business for the legislature to get involved in.”

Despite the expansion of abortion rights that passed this spring, the parental-notification legislation was deemed too controversial, even among Democrats.

Welch says he hopes to round up enough support to pass the measure in the fall veto session. If not, he says he’ll pursue it again next year.

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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