Parents for protection of girls

CHAMPAIGN, III (WAND) - When a minor seeks an abortion, parents are notified up to 48-hours before the procedure of their child's plans. Now, the repeal of a bill is seeking to change that.

"I beg of you, I plead, Illinois, to not reverse, and to please notify parents."

Parents for the Protection of Girls are urging lawmakers to reject the repeal of the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act. The law requires doctors to notify parents when minors seek an abortion.
Planned Parenthood helps define the law, saying, "Illinois law requires Planned Parenthood of Illinois to notify a parent or adult family member if a minor age 17 or younger seeks an abortion, unless a judge gives a waiver. The adult family member does not have to give permission for the minor to have an abortion, but an adult family member must be notified."
Some parents ask the state crucial questions regarding their own children. "Why would you want a child to keep something secret that's going to affect the rest of her life?" 

Pastor John Jones, another member of Parents for the Protection of Girls says, "I love my daughter and care very deeply about what goes on in her life. If she were to get pregnant and was to considering abortion. I would want to know so my wife and I could help her deal with the unexpected situation."

Another parent, Mary Fiorito, says repealing the law intercepts with a parent's job to guide their child through these major life decisions.  

 "To undo a parent's right to know about an irreversible surgery being performed on their child, completely undermines the rights and responsibilities that parents have to their children."

Planned parenthood, however, says it is not that simple. Brigid Leahy, Senior Director of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action says, "there are unfortunately some situations where a young person cannot involve a parent in this decision. And for those young people that they are forced into court. That's the last place they need to be court is stressful."

Parents for the Protection of Girls fight the repeal, claiming minors are not able to do other actions without consent or notification, and ask why abortion is not viewed the same.

"Children can't make their own decisions for accessing the tanning beds, tattoos, tobacco use, it seems, unfathomable that the law would allow a minor to make a decision to access, abortion, without any adult guide. We know the potential severe physical and emotional consequences associated with abortion." Jones says. 

Those in support of removing the Illinois Parental Notification Act say they do not believe a law should force communication with parents. Leahy tells WAND News, "quite frankly, a law cannot mandate quality family communication, and that's where the problem with this law delays their access to care. We don't need this law, it doesn't help teens, and it actually is potentially dangerous for them."

Pastor John Jones speaks of his relationship with his daughter, and urges the Illinois General Assembly to reconsider the repeal. "We feel it is our duty to protect and guide her. We are family and we deal with matters together. The state should not seek to interfere with our relationship."

The Illinois General Assembly is set to vote on this bill in May 2021.  

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