Illinois will allow minors to obtain abortions without parental notification

Democrats argue that the new law protects at-risk minors, while Republicans say the law will endanger girls.

Published: December 20, 2021 6:59pm

Updated: December 20, 2021 8:05pm

Illinois Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill Friday repealing a mandate that required women 17 or younger seeking an abortion to notify a parent or a guardian 48 hours before the procedure.

The now-repealed law was passed in 1995 and did not require parental consent, unlike nearly half the states, according to the Associated Press

Pritzker said the repeal is "essential" and the original act punished "vulnerable pregnant minors," such as "victims of rape and physical abuse." 

"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 in a press release. 

The Supreme Court upheld a Texas law allowing private citizens to sue abortion providers, but clinics can still sue over the law. The court is still deciding the legality of a Mississippi law that prohibits most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy. 

Democrats argue that the Illinois law, effective June 1, 2022, will protect "reproductive rights" for women of all ages. 

The law also creates a "Youth Health and Safety Advisory Working Group to identify laws and policies that impact parenting and pregnant youth under the age of 18," according to the governor's press release.

Republicans argue the new law will endanger girls. 

"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," Republican state House Rep. Avery Bourne said. "Instead, today the Democrat majority has chosen to recklessly push those rights to the wayside."

The 1995 law had a loophole allowing a girl to go to a judge to decide if she could make the decision without parental consent.

Pritzker's office concluded the press release with the fact that more nonresidents are now receiving abortions in Illinois. More than 7,500 did so in 2019 during Pritzker's first year in office compared to more than 5,500 women in 2017.

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