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March 15, 2021

Poll Results Show 72% of Illinoisans Favor Parental Notice of Abortion Law

At a virtual press conference this morning, the grassroots coalition Parents for the Protection of Girls unveiled public opinion poll results showing that 72% of Illinois voters believe that a parent or guardian should be notified if a minor girl is seeking an abortion.

“Nearly three-quarters of the people in the state of Illinois are opposed to repealing our parental notice law,” said Mary FioRito, who served as moderator of the press conference.

The poll was conducted by The Tarrance Group, covering 600 Illinois registered voters during March 7-10, 2021. The margin of error is +/- 4.1%. (See attached summary results.)

FioRito is an attorney and mother of three teenage girls, and a Fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington, D.C. and the de Nicola Center for Ethics and Culture at the University of Notre Dame.

A current effort to repeal Illinois’ parental notice of abortion law is afoot in the Illinois Legislature, with identical pieces of legislation in House Bill 1797 and Senate Bill 2190. Action on either bill is expected during the spring session.

Jon Jones, the father of a teenage girl who also serves as a worship pastor at Christian Life Center, located in the Chicago suburbs of Tinley Park and Blue Island, spoke about the current law as supporting all families.

“I understand that not every child comes from a home like ours,” Jones said. “And the needs of those children must be met – as they are in this law with the provided exemptions to notification – but it is also important to weigh the needs of loving families and ensure the government not do more to denigrate them.”

Laura Lederer, an attorney who has studied human trafficking for more than 20 years and has co-authored the preeminent study on the connection between human trafficking, health care providers, and abortion, “The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking and Their Implications for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities,” outlined how parental notice can raise a red flag on potential trafficking situations when victims seek health care.

“Illinois’ current law on parental notice of abortion offers a key opportunity to recognize and free a trafficking victim from a lifetime of slavery,” Lederer said.

Dr. Brook Bello, a human trafficking survivor who holds a doctorate in pastoral clinical counseling and is the founder of the anti-trafficking organization More Too Life, recounted her grim experience of being trafficked as a minor. She stressed that parental notice laws can rescue young girls trapped in a trafficking situation.

“If my mother had had to be notified, she might have been able to find me,” Bello said.

Dr. Jacque Pfeifer, a doctoral-level psychologist with 28 years of experience in the mental health field, spoke of brain development and how a teenager’s brain is not fully formed until they hit their mid-20s, leading to impulsive decisions.

“The majority of teens are not prepared to make long-term decisions due to their lack of mental capacity to reflect, synthesize, integrate, and project thinking into the future,” Pfeifer said. “Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging research shows that adolescents use the rear part of the metallization network called the temporal sulcus in contrast to adults who use the prefrontal cortex.”

Free, unlimited access to the virtual press conference may be accessed at the following link for 90 days.

https://livestream.com/blueroomstream/events/9572544

More information on Parents for the Protection of Girls: www.saveparentalnotification.com