UPDATE 10/27/21: HB 370 passed the General Assembly and will be sent to Governor Pritzker. Read more here.
The Youth Health and Safety Act reaffirms Illinois’ commitment to the fundamental principle that every person has the right to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions without interference, and removes harmful barriers to reproductive healthcare for youth.
The Youth Health and Safety Act:
Creates a bipartisan working group focused on pregnant and parenting youth, and youth who may become pregnant and parents.
- Identifies existing and needed resources for youth in the areas of: education, housing, employment, food access, and childcare.
- Provides information and resources related to access to healthcare for minors.
- Provides resources and tools that support and encourage healthy communication between young people and their parents and other support systems.
- 10 of the 24 working group members will be young people who can speak directly to the issues affecting them and provide expertise about how to engage their peers.
Repeals the dangerous forced parental involvement law.
- The majority of young people voluntarily tell a parent about an unplanned pregnancy.
- Those who do not tell a parent often involve another family member or trusted adult.
- The minority of young people who do not talk to their parents often have concerns such as: fear of physical or emotional abuse, loss of financial support, or homelessness; fear of being forced to give birth against their will; or serious family problems such as a parent who is sick or imprisoned.
- Illinois law permits pregnant minors to make all other medical decisions without involving a parent or going to court. A pregnant minor can decide independently whether to continue the pregnancy and give birth, consent to medical care such as a cesarean section, or place a child for adoption. Only when a young person decides to end their pregnancy does the government force them to involve their family.
- Every leading medical organization opposes forced parental involvement laws, including: The American Medical Association; The American Academy of Pediatrics; The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists; The Society for Adolescent Medicine; and The American Public Health Association.