Illinois No Longer Requires Parental Notification for Abortion

On Wednesday, an Illinois law went into effect which repealed the parental notification requirement for minors obtaining abortions. The law, signed by Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker in December, repealed a 1995 law (which didn’t actually go into effect until 2013 due to protracted litigation over it).

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Per The Center Square:

At a campaign stop in East St. Louis Wednesday, Pritzker promised to keep abortion legal in Illinois, even for girls without their parents being notified.

“Just across the river, Missouri Republicans have nearly eliminated women’s ability for women to access vital reproductive health care,” Pritzker said. “While here in Illinois, we’ve fought to expand women’s rights.”

The 1995 law contained a judicial bypass provision. Per ABC7:

In that time, the ACLU of Illinois assisted hundreds of minors seeking abortion who didn’t want to or couldn’t notify their parent or guardian.

“It was emotionally challenging for young people to have to share the most intimate details of their lives and their family situations with a judge,” said ACLU of Illinois staff attorney Emily Werth.

More than 1,100 people under the age of 18 had an abortion in 2020 in Illinois, according to most recent data.

Currently, 37 states require some form of parental notification or consent. As noted by the Guttmacher Institute:

The majority of states require parental involvement in a minor’s decision to have an abortion. Most of these states require the consent or notification of only one parent, usually 24 or 48 hours before the procedure, but a handful of states require the involvement of both parents. Some states require the minor and a parent to provide government-issued identification to the abortion provider and/or as part of notarizing the parental consent form. In a small number of states, the parent must also provide proof of parenthood. Several states allow grandparents or other adult relatives to be involved in place of the minor’s parents, and many waive parental involvement requirements if there is a medical emergency or the young person is the victim of abuse or neglect.

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In response to the law going into effect, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, who is seeking the Republican nomination for governor and hoping to challenge Pritzker in the fall, said: “It’s a shame that J.B. Pritzker is using something that is such an important issue for us to be talking about as political fodder. He does not have anything other to talk about than trying to make something like that about politics.”

Per The Center Square:

In 2020, more than 9,600 out-of-state residents terminated their pregnancy in Illinois, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health. More than 6,500 were from Missouri.

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