Parental rights under attack

As veto session continues, members of the Senate Republicans are continuing to bring attention to attempts to repeal the Parental Notice of Abortion (PNA) Act.

The Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act requires that parents of minors be notified before their child receives an abortion procedure. Currently, the law simply stipulates that a parent be informed of the procedure. Parents are not required to provide consent.

Leading up to session, Democrat lawmakers indicated they may attempt a repeal of the PNA during the fall veto session, and Gov. JB Pritzker has expressed his support for the effort. In response, the female members of the Senate Republican Caucus hosted a press conference on Oct. 19 to oppose any efforts to repeal the long-standing act and take a stand for parental rights.

While opponents of the law continually argue that the PNA endangers victims of abuse, Republican senators argue that the PNA law actually provides safeguards to vulnerable minors.

The current law also provides alternative avenues for minors who may not feel safe sharing their decisions. In the case of sexual abuse, neglect, or physical abuse by an adult family member, a minor who wishes not to have their parent informed can declare this to an attending physician who can grant a notification waiver. Additionally, minors can also choose to seek a waiver in circuit court, where a judge can grant an exemption.

Republican lawmakers argue that efforts to repeal the PNA is a direct attack on parental rights and will leave countless young girls vulnerable at a time when they desperately need support and guidance.

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