It’s been fourteen years in coming, but today the Illinois Parental Notification Act of 1995 finally goes into effect. As reported in the Aurora Beacon News, minor girls will now be required by law to inform a parent before getting an abortion. Planned Parenthood and the ACLU fought hard to keep this day from ever happening, getting the Act enjoined by a federal judge immediately after it was signed into law in 1995. But the State—with help from the likes of public interest law firm, the Thomas More Society—finally convinced the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago to allow the law to go into effect.
Parental notification controversy in Aurora
We had our own battle over parental notification here in Aurora in 2007, a spin-off from the controversy surrounding the opening of Planned Parenthood’s mega-center here. Alderman Rick Lawrence was dismayed to learn that his minor daughters could walk into Planned Parenthood and get medical services, including abortion, without him or his wife knowing anything about it. Rick launched a campaign to enact parental notification in the City of Aurora, which culminated in a City Council resolution on November 27, 2007 urging the state to take every necessary measure to get the 1995 Act enacted. The vote was 11-0 (Alderman Linda Elmore left the meeting before the vote).
One small but important step
As I commented in today’s story in the Beacon, we will be keeping vigilant watch over both Planned Parenthood and the General Assembly to ensure that this law is being enforced. We’ll also be watching closely to ensure there is no new effort to undermine our families and endanger our children, like the “Illinois FOCA” bill defeated this spring. Meanwhile, we must continue to fight to protect the lives of all unborn babies and their mothers from abortion. Let us be encouraged in that long-term fight by measures like this which are proven to put the brakes on abortion and save lives.