Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker Signs Bill Ending Parental Notification for Teen Girls’ Abortions

Gov. J.B. Pritzker signs the state budget and legislation related to a graduated income tax in Illinois, during a bill signing Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago.
Amr Alfiky / ASSOCIATED PRESS

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed legislation that repeals the state’s last pro-life law by allowing minor girls to obtain abortions without their parents’ knowledge.

“With reproductive rights under attack across the nation, Illinois is once again establishing itself as a leader in ensuring access to healthcare services,” Pritzker said Friday, complying with the abortion industry’s narrative that ending the lives of unborn children is “women’s health care.”

Pritzker said he was “proud” of his legislature for passing HB 370, named by Democrats the Youth Health and Safety Act:

This repeal was essential, because it was the most vulnerable pregnant minors who were punished by this law: victims of rape and physical abuse in unsafe homes. I thank Representative Anna Moeller, Senator Elgie Sims and the lawmakers and advocates who have fiercely fought to repeal this law and keep vulnerable young people safe. I’m proud that Illinois continues to be a national leader in protecting reproductive rights.

Amy C. Gehrke, executive director of Illinois Right to Life, tweeted that, by signing the bill into law, Pritzker “ignored the will of Illinois voters, usurped the right of Illinois parents to be involved in their children’s health care, and endangered countless minor girls.”

Pritzker’s office noted Illinois has become an abortion destination state with “more out-of-state patients … now traveling to Illinois” for abortions.

“According to the most recent data from the Illinois Department of Public Health, 7,534 nonresidents received abortions in Illinois in 2019, compared with 2,970 in 2014 and 5,528 in 2017,” the governor’s office observed.

“Access to sexual and reproductive health care starting at a young age is crucial,” said State Sen. Melinda Bush (D) in a statement. “By providing resources and education, we are giving young girls vital information to allow for free expression and bodily autonomy.”

State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D) saw the repeal of the Parental Notification Act of 1995 as a direct reaction to the Texas Heartbeat Act, which the U.S. Supreme Court allowed to remain in effect, prohibiting abortions in the state once a fetal heartbeat is detected.

“When the Texas legislature, aided by the United States Supreme Court, declared open season on people seeking reproductive health care, it became very clear to me that our state is in a unique position to reach out our hands and offer a safe haven to people from Texas and other states that seek to restrict reproductive rights,” Cassidy said in the statement.

“At a time when reproductive rights are hanging by a thread across the country, today’s bill signing means that in Illinois, regardless of age, people now have the full legal autonomy to make reproductive health care decisions that are best for their bodies,” added Jennifer Welch, CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action.

However, State Rep. Avery Bourne (R) said the signing of the legislation is “out-of-touch” with the will of most Illinois citizens and places young girls in danger.

“Parents deserve the right to know if their minor child is seeking any major medical procedure, especially one like an abortion where there can be serious short and long term consequences,” Bourne said, according to the Associated Press. “Instead, today the Democrat majority has chosen to recklessly push those rights to the wayside.”

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