Sunday, 04 April 2021 15:31

Statehouse abortion legislation would protect human traffickers, harm victims of rape, incest

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Identical pieces of legislation pending at the Illinois statehouse would help protect human traffickers while simultaneously harming victims of rape, incest, or other sexual violence. The legislation would repeal the Parental Notification Act, an Illinois law that requires a parent or legal guardian to be notified when a minor under the age of 18 seeks an abortion (the law now is only for notification, not parental consent).

illinois state capitolThese pieces of legislation come on the heels of a statewide poll conducted by The Terrance Group that found 72 percent of Illinoisans favor parental notice when it comes to minors seeking an abortion even with a majority of the respondents identifying as pro-choice.

The grassroots coalition Parents for the Protection of Girls hosted a press conference March 15 during which several doctors and parents discussed the severe ramifications if Illinois’ Parental Notification Law is overturned.

Dr. Brook Bello, a human trafficking survivor who holds a doctorate in pastoral clinical counseling and is the founder of the anti-trafficking organization More Too Life, recounted her grim experience of being trafficked as a minor. She stressed that parental notice laws can rescue young girls trapped in a trafficking situation.

“If my mother had had to be notified, she might have been able to find me,” Bello said.

Laura Lederer, an attorney who has studied human trafficking for more than 20 years and has co-authored the preeminent study on the connection between human trafficking, health care providers, and abortion, The Health Consequences of Sex Trafficking and Their Implications for Identifying Victims in Healthcare Facilities, outlined how parental notice can raise a red flag on potential trafficking situations when victims seek health care.

“Illinois’ current law on parental notice of abortion offers a key opportunity to recognize and free a trafficking victim from a lifetime of slavery,” Lederer said.

Dr. Jacque Pfeifer, a doctoral level psychologist with 28 years of experience in the mental health field, spoke of brain development and how a teenager’s brain is not fully formed until they hit their mid-20s, leading to impulsive decisions.

“The majority of teens are not prepared to make long-term decisions due to their lack of mental capacity to reflect, synthesize, integrate, and project thinking into the future,” Pfeifer said. “Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging research shows that adolescents use the rear part of the metallization network called the temporal sulcus in contrast to adults who use the prefrontal cortex.”

Jon Jones, the father of a teenage girl who also serves as a worship pastor at Christian Life Center, located in the Chicago suburbs of Tinley Park and Blue Island, spoke about the current law as supporting all families.

“I understand that not every child comes from a home like ours,” Jones said. “And the needs of those children must be met — as they are in this law with the provided exemptions to notification — but it is also important to weigh the needs of loving families and ensure the government not do more to denigrate them.”

Those who support the current law also point to other legal and moral rights of parents and legal guardians to care for their children, including:

  • Illinois law bans indoor tanning for minors;
  • Illinois law bans a minor getting a tattoo or body piercing without parental consent;
  • Minors cannot vote, purchase cigarettes, serve in the military, or purchase lottery tickets.

Those who support ending the Parental Notification Law argue that some minors cannot talk to their parents out of fear or potential abuse. However, the current Parental Notification Law includes two waivers: (1) a judicial waiver for those not wishing to inform their parents and (2) a blanket waiver for minors who attest to being physically or sexually abused.

Since the Parental Notification Law went into effect, there have been no reported incidents of abuse of any minor whose parents were informed of her intention to get an abortion.

Get involved right now — contact your state lawmakers

Contact your lawmaker today and tell him or her to vote “No” to legislation that would repeal Illinois’ Parental Notification Law. The pieces of legislation are House Bill 1797 and Senate Bill 2190. Below are the 28 counties in our diocese. Listed are lawmakers who represent all or parts of each county and their Springfield office number. Note, when you call, you will need to tell them the bill numbers of the legislation, which are House Bill 1797 and Senate Bill 2190.

Adams County:

State Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer (R)
(217) 782-1840

State Sen. Jil Tracy (R)
(217) 782-2479

Bond County:

State Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R)
(217) 782-0066

State Sen. Jason Plummer (R)
(217) 782-5755

Brown County:

State Rep. Norine K. Hammond (R)
(217) 782-0416

State Sen. Jil Tracy (R)
(217) 782-2479

Calhoun County:

State Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer (R)
(217) 782-1840

State Sen. Steve McClure (R)
(217) 782-8206

Cass County:

State Rep. Norine K. Hammond (R)
(217) 782-0416

State Sen. Jil Tracy (R)
(217) 782-2479

Christian County:

State Sen. Doris Turner (D)
(217) 782-0228

State Rep. Avery Bourne (R)
(217) 782-8071

State Rep. Sue Scherer (D)
(217) 524-0353

Crawford County:

State Rep. Chris Miller (R)
(217) 558-1040

State Sen. Darren Bailey (R)
(217) 782-6674

Clark County:

State Rep. Chris Miller (R)
(217) 558-1040

State Sen. Darren Bailey (R)
(217) 782-6674

Coles County:

State Rep. Chris Miller (R)
(217) 558-1040

State Sen. Darren Bailey (R)
(217) 782-6674

Cumberland County:

State Rep. Chris Miller (R)
(217) 558-1040

State Sen. Darren Bailey (R)
(217) 782-6674

Douglas County:

State Rep. Brad Halbrook (R)
(217) 782-8398

State Sen. Chapin Rose (R)
(217) 558-1006

Edgar County:

State Rep. Brad Halbrook (R)
(217) 782-8398

State Sen. Chapin Rose (R)
(217) 558-1006

Effingham County:

State Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R)
(217) 782-0066

State Rep. Adam Niemerg (R)
(217) 782-2087

State Sen. Jason Plummer (R)
(217) 782-5755

State Sen. Darren Bailey (R)
(217) 782-6674

Fayette County:

State Rep. Blaine Wilhour (R)
(217) 782-0066

State Sen. Jason Plummer (R)
(217) 782-5755

Green County:

State Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer (R)
(217) 782-1840

State Sen. Steve McClure (R)
(217) 782-8206

Jasper County:

State Rep. Adam Niemerg (R)
(217) 782-2087

State Sen. Darren Bailey (R)
(217) 782-6674

Jersey County:

State Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer (R)
(217) 782-1840

State Sen. Steve McClure (R)
(217) 782-8206

Macon County:

State Sen. Doris Turner (D)
(217) 782-0228

State Sen. Chapin Rose (R)
(217) 558-1006

State Rep. Sue Scherer (D)
(217) 524-0353

State Rep. Dan Caulkins (R)
(217) 876-1968

State Rep. Brad Halbrook (R)
(217) 782-8398

Macoupin County:

State Sen. Doris Turner (D)
(217) 782-0228

State Sen. Steve McClure (R)
(217) 782-8206

State Rep. Avery Bourne (R)
(217) 782-8071

Madison County:

State Rep. Katie Stuart (D)
(217) 782-8018

State Rep. Jay Hoffman (D)
(217) 782-0104

State Rep. LaToya Greenwood (D)
(217) 782-5951

State Sen. Rachelle Crowe (D)
(217) 782-5247

State Sen. Christopher Belt (D)
(217) 782-5399

State Rep. Charles Meier (R)
(217) 782-6401

State Rep. Amy Elik (R)
(217) 782-5996

State Sen. Jason Plummer (R)
(217) 782-5755

Menard County:

State Rep. Tim Butler (R)
(217) 782-0053

State Sen. Sally J. Turner (R)
(217) 782-6216

Morgan County:

State Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer (R)
(217) 782-1840

State Sen. Steve McClure (R)
(217) 782-8206

Montgomery County:

State Sen. Doris Turner (D)
(217) 782-0228

State Rep. Avery Bourne (R)
(217) 782-8071

Moultrie County:

State Rep. Brad Halbrook (R)
(217) 782-8398

State Sen. Chapin Rose (R)
(217) 558-1006

Pike County:

State Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer (R)
(217) 782-1840

State Sen. Steve McClure (R)
(217) 782-8206

Sangamon County:

State Sen. Doris Turner (D)
(217) 782-0228

State Sen. Steve McClure (R)
(217) 782-8206

State Sen. Sally J. Turner (R)
(217) 782-6216

State Rep. Sue Scherer (D)
(217) 524-0353

State Rep. Mike Murphy (R)
(217) 782-0044

State Rep. Tim Butler (R)
(217) 782-0053

Scott County:

State Rep. C.D. Davidsmeyer (R)
(217) 782-1840

State Sen. Steve McClure (R)
(217) 782-8206

Shelby County:

State Sen. Chapin Rose (R)
(217) 558-1006

State Rep. Brad Halbrook (R)
(217) 782-8398

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