Senate Republican Deputy Leader Sue Rezin, R-Morris, reacted to House Bill 370, which repeals the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995, by calling it an attack on the rights of parents.
The bill passed the Senate with a 32-22 vote.
“(Tuesday’s) vote is yet another attack on the rights of parents by the Democrat majority that will deny parents the opportunity to provide their daughters with the help and support that they need during one of the most difficult times in their life,” Rezin said in a press release.
“By repealing the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle sent a clear message to the parents across the state that they believe parents have no right to know about their child’s health or health care decisions,” she said.
The Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995 was passed decades ago, but ultimately took effect in 2013 after court challenges. It does not require parental consent, only that a doctor’s office notify a parent of the child’s planned abortion 48 hours prior to the procedure, according to Capitol News Illinois.
Discussion on the repeal bill, an amendment to House Bill 370, centered on whether a parent has the right to be informed by a medical professional if their child was scheduled for an abortion or whether the requirement needlessly puts at-risk youths in danger.
“This issue goes beyond the typical pro-life-versus-pro-choice debate,” Rezin said in a news conference last week. “We’re way past just discussing our views on abortion. We are literally now discussing if a parent has a right to know about their child’s pregnancy and abortion.”
Rezin and other GOP members of the committee questioned why a minor must have parental consent to get their ears pierced or to receive a vaccine, but, under the repeal, no longer would be subject to parental notification of abortion.
Emily Werth, a staff attorney at ACLU of Illinois, responded in Illinois that a minor who is pregnant, no longer has to receive parental consent for any medical care. The pregnant minor could undergo a caesarian section, receive a vaccine or get any other medical care without parental notice or consent.
“And that is because the General Assembly has made the policy decision that when a young person is pregnant, it is in their best interest and all of our best interest that they have access to whatever medical care they need, without delay, without being put in harm’s way,” Werth said. “Abortion is one kind of medical care that they may need when they are pregnant. And it should be treated the same as any other kind of medical care.”
• Capitol News Illinois reporter Jerry Nowicki contributed to this report.