(The Center Square) – Illinois lawmakers adopted a measure that would repeal the Parental Notification of Abortion Act.
The measure passed the House by a 62 to 51 vote.
The notification act is part of a larger piece of legislation called the Youth Health and Safety Act.
The law, which has been enforced since 2013, requires parents to be notified 48 hours in advance when a minor seeks an abortion. The 1995 law did not take effect in Illinois until a Supreme Court ruling following years of court challenges by the American Civil Liberties Union.
“I have reviewed and I know the medical evidence, and I know that forced parental involvement laws serve no valid purpose and can hurt young people and delay care,” said Dr. Erin King, executive director of the Hope Clinic for Women.
State Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer, R-Jacksonville, said the legislation will allow some kids to bypass their parents.
“I think you are opening this up where supportive families will not be involved in these incredibly difficult decisions, and that is a major, major problem,” Davidsmeyer said.
With the law in place, minors are allowed to go through judicial bypass proceedings if a girl fears her family situation, where telling her parents could result in her harm. A judge then decides whether she is mature enough to decide for herself.
Retired Judge Susan Gillis presided over numerous judicial bypass proceedings as permitted by the current law.
“That law in my experience as a judge tasked with deciding these waivers is unnecessary, overly punitive and places burdens on young women seeking health care,” Gillis said.
State Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Morrisonville, thinks the parents should be involved.
“This is clearly an attempt to take away the knowledge of parents in what’s happening in their minor children’s life,“ Bourne said.
The House Executive Committee voted 9 to 6 to advance the measure to the House floor. The Senate approved the measure Tuesday.