Reproductive Justice

Illinois Minors Can Now Get Abortions Without Parental Permission

The repeal of the Parental Notice Of Abortion Act is set to make Illinois a haven for those seeking out-of-state reproductive healthcare.

Abortion rights activists continue to fight for reproductive justice. On June 1, Illinois repealed t...
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Illinois officially repealed the Parental Notice of Abortion Act (PNA), allowing people under the age of 18 access to reproductive healthcare on their own and without permission.

The law required any person under 18 who wanted an abortion to acquire either written consent from a parent / guardian, or after an appearance in court and the subsequent approval of a judge who deemed them mature enough for the procedure.

As a central state in the middle of several others with restrictive abortion laws or outright bans — and with the leaked Supreme Court draft that strongly suggests Roe v. Wade will be revoked — this repeal is set to make Illinois a haven for those seeking out-of-state reproductive healthcare.

PNA was initially passed in 1995, but it did not go into effect until 2013, thanks to the efforts of the ACLU. For nine years, the ACLU of Illinois and reproductive justice advocates fought to make the repeal of PNA a reality.

“This is a fight the ACLU of Illinois has been involved in for almost 50 years. Almost as soon as Roe v. Wade decision was announced. For decades the ACLU of Illinois was able to go to court and get injunctions,” ACLU of Illinois staff attorney Emily Werth told Jezebel. That’s when “our legal strategies ran its course in 2013 despite our best efforts to prevent it,” Werth said.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the measure to repeal the law back in December 2021 as part of the Youth Health and Safety Act. The repeal took effect June 1, 2022.

“Just across the river, Missouri Republicans have nearly eliminated women’s ability for women to access vital reproductive health care,” Pritzker said during a campaign stop in East St. Louis last week. “While here in Illinois, we’ve fought to expand women’s rights.”

According to WJOL, more than 9,600 out-of-state people traveled to Illinois to terminate their pregnancies. Of those 9,600, 6,500 were from Missouri, a state that banned abortions after eight weeks of pregnancy or later the year prior.

Thirteen states have trigger laws, or bans on abortion already passed that will be “triggered” in a shift manner should Roe v. Wade be passed. Illinois is preparing for the massive influx of out-of-state residents seeking abortions — an estimated 8,651% increase — but let’s keep pressuring our state legislators to keep abortion legal everywhere.