State Watch

Measure expanding minors’ abortion rights heads to Illinois governor’s desk

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The Illinois legislature sent a measure aimed at expanding abortion rights for minors to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s (D) desk.

The Illinois House voted 62-51 on Wednesday night to give final approval to the legislation, which would repeal a 1995 law requiring that a parent or guardian be notified when girls younger than 18 receive an abortion, according to ABC7 Chicago.

Because the measure did not pass by a three-fifths majority, the law cannot take effect until June 1, the outlet noted.   

The Illinois state Senate approved the bill on Tuesday by a vote of 32 to 22, with four Democrats voting with Republicans against the bill and five other Democrats not voting.

Pritzker has expressed support for the bill.

The 1995 law requires a parent or guardian to be notified at least 48 hours before a minor has an abortion. However, minors have the option to request the notification be waived if they are concerned about their safety.

The measure officially took effect in 2013 and has been enforced since then.

Opponents of repealing the law frame the issue as one of parent’s rights.

State Rep. Avery Bourne (R) said in a committee hearing earlier on Wednesday that repealing the law was “clearly an attempt to take away the knowledge of parents and what is happening in their minor,” the Chicago Tribune reported.

But supporters of repealing the law see it as a chance for Illinois to strengthen abortion rights in a time when other states are moving to restrict abortion access.

“As more states consider and adopt increasingly draconian bans on access to abortion service, Illinois stands out for recognizing that everyone should have the power to make decisions about their reproductive health without government interference,” the American Civil Liberties Union on Illinois said in a statement.  


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