We believe the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act puts teens’ health and safety at unnecessary risk. Studies show that these kinds of laws do not improve teen health or pregnancy rates. Instead, studies have shown an increase in the number of minors traveling outside their home states to obtain abortion services in states that do not mandate parental involvement or that have less restrictive laws.
From Planned Parenthood of Illinois President and CEO, Carole Brite:
"We are disappointed by the Illinois Supreme Court's decision to dismiss a lawsuit challenging the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995. While we believe the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act puts the health and safety of teens at unnecessary risk, Planned Parenthood of Illinois is committed to doing everything we can to make this new process as easy as possible for teens if the law goes into effect. Planned Parenthood agrees that in an ideal world, parents would be involved in their teens’ health care and engaged in healthy dialogue around responsible decision making. Most teens seek their parents’ advice and counsel when making decisions about their health care. But in some cases, safe and open communication is not possible. In those cases, research shows mandatory parental notice laws do not enhance parent-teen communication. Rather, they can be harmful to teens’ health and well-being. The focus should be on giving teens the information they need to make responsible decisions and continue to encourage healthy family communication, not erecting barriers to critical health care services."
Planned Parenthood of Illinois will be there for teens. When a teen comes to us, she will receive counseling about all of her options. Our counselors are there to help her with talking to her adult family member or legal guardian. In those situations when the teen believes it is unsafe for her to talk to her parents, we will help her obtain legal representation so that she can maneuver the legal process as easily as possible.
For more information about today's decision, visit the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois website.
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