From 2000 to 2013 the number of states that have enacted laws restricting a woman’s access to legal abortion services and health care increased from 13 to 27. As a result, 56 percent of American women live in states with hostile abortion environments. Illinois is not one of those 27 states, yet that does not translate into statistically significant higher percentages of women seeking an abortion in the state. In 2010, Illinois’ average was identical to average abortion numbers nationwide. A study by the Guttmacher Institute, also shows that 60-70 percent of all pregnant minors, facing an unwanted pregnancy tell their parents. Yet, last August a parental notification law went into effect in Illinois which requires teens under the age of 18 to notify a parent, grandparent, guardian or step-parent, who lives with them, at least 48 hours before being able to have a legal abortion. That puts at risk teens who have less than ideal families; families were there is emotional, physical or sexual abuse or other problems. The Illinois Judicial Bypass Coordination Project helps guide such teens through a process that allows a judge to grant them an exemption from the law. However, Lorie Chaiten, director of the Reproductive Rights Project of the ACLU of Illinois explains that the process can be “scary” and often embarrassing:

"With some judges it's just some follow-up, but there are judges that ask every question they can think of, and the most intrusive," Chaiten says. "This young woman has to sit there and reveal the most intimate details of her life."

Read the article from The Chicago Reader.
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