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Illinois Plans to Resurrect The Parental Notice of Abortion Act

Illinois Plans to Resurrect The Parental Notice of Abortion Act

By Shelly Bortz

September 19, 2006

Illinois' Parental Notification Law could soon be enforced. The Illinois Supreme Court opened the door to resurrect the 1995 law that keeps doctors from performing an abortion on a minor without the parent's consent. WATCH

It's a small victory for those seeking stricter limits on abortion.

"It's necessary to let parents know what their children are doing," said Angela Michael.

Abortion rights activists say it will ultimately hurt the teen.

"Effectively, teens aren't going to have a place to go," said Sally Burgess.

In 1995, the Parental Notification Law was passed, stating that a parent or guardian must be notified 48 hours in advance of an abortion on a minor. The law never went into effect because the State Supreme Court refused to write rules for appeals in special circumstances. On Monday, the Illinois Legislature said it would write the needed rules.

Angela Michael, who praises the initiative, is founder of Small Victories Ministry, an outreach program for woman dealing with unplanned pregnancies. In addition to her radio talk show every Tuesday, Angela protests five days a week in front of an abortion clinic for what she believes in.

"As I've said to skeptics, stand outside this abortion clinic with me and you'll see what abortion has become in our nation," Michael said.

Opponents of the law say most teens thinking of having an abortion do involve their parents. Sally Burgess, Executive Director for The Hope Clinic For Woman, says those who don't do it for good reasons.

"We know there are teens who fear they will be abused, physically abused. They truly are in danger," Burgess said.

While the Supreme Court has yet to write the exceptions to the law, they usually apply to teens who have been physically or sexually abused by a parent. Illinois is the only state in the region that does not require consent.

In a similar measure, a bill passed the U.S. Senate in July would make taking a pregnant girl to another state for the purposes of evading parental notification laws, punishable by fines and up to a year in jail.

Parental laws are already in effect in thirty-four states.

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