SPRINGFIELD, Ill. - Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed a bill Friday that repeals the Parental Notification Act of 1995, which required doctors to notify a pregnant minor's parent within 48 hours prior to an abortion procedure.
The bill states that while a pregnant minor can choose to involve a family member or legal guardian in their decision to have or not have an abortion, they are no longer compelled to do so.
"With reproductive rights under attack across the nation, Illinois is once again establishing itself as a leader in ensuring access to healthcare services," said Gov. Pritzker. "This repeal was essential, because it was the most vulnerable pregnant minors who were punished by this law: victims of rape and physical abuse in unsafe homes."
The bill also creates the Youth Health and Safety Advisory Working Group, which identifies laws and policies that impact parenting and pregnant youth under the age of 18.
This group will focus on reproductive safety for pregnant and parenting youth as well as preventing human trafficking, the governor's office said.
Gov. Pritzker said he will appoint four members, at least two under the age of 18, to the advisory group. The group will present a report and any recommendations by July 1, 2023.
"Access to sexual and reproductive health care starting at a young age is crucial," said State Sen. Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake). "By providing resources and education, we are giving young girls vital information to allow for free expression and bodily autonomy. The signing of House Bill 370 signals to young women that we are prioritizing them today and for generations to come."
On the other side, advocates of the Parental Notification Act say that the 48-hour alert to a parent or guardian involves only notification, not consent. According to the Guttmacher Institute, of 38 states requiring parental involvement in a minor’s abortion decision, 21 require parental consent — in three of those, both parents must consent.
"It’s the most basic human relationship that we know and it is a precious bond for a lifetime, most critical during a young girl’s, a minor’s, formative years...." said Republican Sen. Jil Tracy of Quincy. "We have enough problems in the state without creating more wedges between children and their parents."
According to date from the Illinois Department of Public Health, more out-of-state patients are traveling to Illinois to receive reproductive care.
In 2019, 7,534 nonresidents received abortions in Illinois. In 2014, 2,970 nonresidents received abortions and in 2017, 5,528 nonresidents received abortions.