Just a few minutes ago, the Illinois Senate approved the Illinois Youth Health and Safety Act, a measure that repeals Illinois’ Parental Notice of Abortion Act, sending the measure to the House of Representatives for final approval.  The following statement can be attributed to Khadine Bennett, director of advocacy and intergovernmental affairs for the ACLU of Illinois:

Tonight’s action by the Illinois Senate to pass the Youth Health and Safety Act HB 370 moves Illinois a step closer to ending enforcement of the dangerous Parental Notice of Abortion Act. The measure approved tonight also helps identify resources for pregnant and parenting youth.

Over the last eight years, we have represented more than 575 young people who have been forced by this law to go to court seeking a judicial bypass because they knew they could not share their abortion decision with any of the designated family members. Ending this barrier for young people in Illinois is critical. 

We are especially pleased that a majority of senators saw through the argument that PNA is not about abortion, only about parental “rights.” This is a fallacy. After all, the law only requires that young people share their decision about an abortion, not the decision to parent or place a baby for adoption.  This has always been about deterring young people from access to abortion care, and nothing else.

We look forward to this bill moving through the Illinois House and being signed into law by the Governor. Many thanks to chief sponsor Senator Elgie Sims, chief-co-sponsor, Senator Melinda Bush, and all those who voted for the measure. Your leadership will help protect the wellbeing of young people in our state for years to come. This is public policy-making at its best.