After 11 Years of Delays, Illinois Addresses Abortion

The Illinois Supreme Court has announced it has finally agreed to develop rules for parental notification of abortions on girls under age 18, and pro-life leader Joe Scheidler [national dir, Pro-Life Action League] says that may “rescue Illinois from its notorious position as the abortion dumping ground of the Midwest.” Scheidler said until now, Illinois was the only state in the region without a parental notification requirement: “Illinois has become a target state for minors from surrounding states who are seeking to avoid their own states’ parental notice and parental consent laws.” In the Chicago area, teens arrive at abortion sites from Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan and Iowa, while southern Illinois sites see teens from Missouri, Kentucky and Kansas, he said. The high court’s announcement this week means the judges will answer a request from DuPage County State’s Attorney Joe Birkett and write the rules that allow for judicial bypass of the notification. That, officials say, will allow a federal injunction preventing implementation of the parental notice portion of the law to be lifted, and the requirement will take effect. A coalition including Illinois Citizens for Life, Illinois Federation for Right to Life, the Illinois Right to Life Committee, the Illinois Family Institute, Concerned Women for America, Eagle Forum of Illinois, et al, just a week earlier also had petitioned the court with the same request. The law was approved by the state legislature in 1995 and signed then by Gov. Jim Edgar, providing that a parent or guardian must be notified 48 hours before a child under 18 has an abortion. Until this week, however, “the Illinois Supreme Court...

Pro-Abortion Groups Seek to Defeat Bill to Protect Girls (6/04)

Pro-abortion groups lobbied strong opposition to a US Senate proposal that would protect girls from adult sexual predators, who can presently take girls across state lines to obtain abortions without their parents’ knowledge or consent. The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing [3Jun] on the Child Custody Protection Act (S. 851). The bill, sponsored by John Ensign (R-NV), simply seeks to help states enforce their own laws, while also helping to make sure that a girl’s parents are involved in deciding what to do about an unplanned pregnancy – a traumatic situation that requires parental involvement. “Few issues bring out emotion like abortion but there are many issues where we can agree and this should be one of them.” The chairman of the committee, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-AL), concurred, saying, “This is the type of legislation that even some pro-choice advocates agree with. Dr. Bruce A. Lucero, a former abortionist from Alabama, has performed 45,000 abortions. He supports this legislation. In a New York Times op-ed, he wrote that ‘dangerous complications’ are more likely to result when parents are not involved in out-of-state abortions.” Nevertheless, pro-abortion groups came out in opposition to the bill. The Center for Reproductive Rights oppose the bill because it ignores “the fact that some young women cannot involve their parents in their abortion decision.” The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): “The bill saddles a young woman with laws of her home state no matter where she travels in the nation,” [press release]. Testifying on behalf of NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, the Rev. Katherine Hancock Ragsdale, an Episcopal priest,...