Aug 17, 2009
Young women in Illinois under 18 will be denied access to abortion unless a parent or guardian is notified 48 hours in advance. For 14 years, a law passed requiring parental notification was held in abeyance by an injunction. The U.S. Court of Appeals has just quietly dissolved the injunction.
If a young woman is old enough to take on the responsibility of rearing a child, she is also old enough to decide for herself whether she should do it.
That’s the essential issue.
The issue of parental notification is a false issue, a stalking horse for the anti-abortion crowd. Parental notification is another attempt to whittle away at the right to abortion. And it’s hypocritical. The same politicians – the big majority of whom are male – restrict decent sex education in the schools and make emergency contraception difficult to get.
The fact is most young women discuss the problem with their parents. But for that small proportion who don’t, a legal requirement for parental notification can be deadly. According to a study by the New England Journal of Medicine on a Texas parental notification law, young women put off abortion until later, raising the risk of complications.
For the anti-abortion crowd, the lives of these young women are irrelevant. So-called “parental notification” further tramples on the right of all women to decide for themselves on some of the most important aspects of their lives.