October 25, 2021

Pro-Life Illinois Senators Call on General Assembly to Protect Parental Rights

Last week, the women of the Senate Republican Caucus held a press conference during which they urged legislators to protect parental rights and defend the Parental Notice of Abortion (PNA) Act. Pro-abortion lawmakers have indicated that they might attempt to force through a bill repealing PNA during the final days of the fall veto session this week.

PNA requires the parents or guardians of minors to be notified 48 hours before the minor has an abortion. Parental consent is not required, and it is possible for minors to bypass the notification requirement.

Senate Republican Deputy Leader Sue Rezin (R-Morris), State Senator Jil Tracy (R-Quincy), State Senator Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro), and State Senator Sally Turner (R-Beason) each gave statements in defense of PNA.

During the press conference, Deputy Leader Rezin said,
“This is an issue about parental rights, and whether you believe it is acceptable to keep parents in the dark about a very serious healthcare decision being made by their child. As a mother of two daughters, I strongly believe it is a parent’s right to be made aware of their daughter’s health and their healthcare decisions. If parents are left in the dark, we will not be able to provide them with the support and care during one of their most difficult times in their life. That is why I intend to stand up for every parent in Illinois and fight against any attempt to erode the Parental Notice of Abortion Act.”
Sen. Tracy argued that parents' input during a situation as stressful as an unplanned pregnancy is vitally important:
“Every parent or guardian has the responsibility to provide for the physical and mental health, and safety, of their children. Most parents have had to write a note or make a phone call to their child’s school to allow basic medications like ibuprofen or aspirin to be taken at school. If we take such care in situations like that, how do we justify doing away with parental notification of abortions? A pregnant 14-year-old girl does not have the emotional maturity to deal with all the implications of her difficult decision, which could have lifelong consequences no matter what choice she makes.”
“The Majority Party wants to punish good, supportive parents who want nothing more than to be there for their young daughter during the hardest time of her life, all under the guise of protecting the abused,” said Sen. Bryant.
“There are avenues for young women to pursue if they feel unsafe with having a parent informed of their decision. Any attempt to repeal parental notification is a direct attack on parental rights. Being a mother and a grandmother, I refuse to allow Democrat lawmakers to tie the hands of parents, allowing children to undergo a serious medical procedure without the guidance and support of a parent.”

Sen. Turner pointed out that PNA not only empowers parents to be present during an important moment in their daughters' lives, but it also protects young girls from the dangers of sex trafficking. 

“Under the Parental Notice of Abortion Act, any facility conducting an abortion for a minor must notify their parent or legal guardian in advance of that procedure. Sex trafficking experts believe this notification process is a vital step in identifying potential victims who have gone under the radar. If we vote to repeal this Act, we make it easier for sexual predators and sex traffickers to abuse the children of our state.”