To the Editor:
Legislation pending in Illinois would help protect human traffickers while harming victims of rape, incest or sexual violation. This legislation would repeal the Parent Notification Act, an Illinois law that requires a parent/guardian be notified when a child younger than age 18 seeks an abortion. A Terrance Group statewide poll found that 72% of Illinoisans favor parent notification even if they identify as pro-choice.
Parent Notification laws can rescue girls in trafficking situations. Attorney Laura Lederer, who has studied human trafficking for 20 years, outlined in her book how parent notification can raise a red flag on potential trafficking situations when victims seek health care, freeing them from a lifetime of slavery.
Psychologist Dr. Jacque Pfeifer has spoken of brain development and how a teen’s brain is not fully formed until their mid-20s, leading to impulsive and regretable decisions.
Current Illinois law bans indoor tanning for minors and tattoos/body piercing without parental consent. Minors cannot vote, buy cigarettes or serve in the military. Yet, House Bill 1797 and Senate Bill 2190 do not allow parents to even be notified about their child’s abortion. Some may argue that some minors can’t talk to their parents out of fear of abuse. In that case, current law allows a minor to receive a judicial waiver.
Since Illinois has had a parental notification law, there has been no reports of incidence of abuse of any minor whose parents were informed of her intent to get an abortion.
Contact Larry Walsh Jr., firstname.lastname@example.org, 815-730-8600, and state Sen. John Connor, email@example.com, 815-207-4445, urging them to vote “no” to legislation that would repeal Illinois parental notification law.
If parents have other legal rights to care for their children, they deserve notification so as to guide their minor child concerning serious life-changing decisions.