Condemn Court for Restricting Young Women’s Reproductive Rights

Target: The Illinois Supreme Court

Goal: Condemn the Illinois Supreme Court’s decision to infringe on women’s reproductive rights

The recent trend of restricting women’s reproductive rights and unnecessarily endangering their health has recently hit Illinois. Following several legal attacks on women’s reproductive services, the Illinois Supreme Court unanimously struck down a lengthy appeal to a 1995 measure that forces abortion doctors to notify the parents of minors at least 48 hours prior to the procedure. The law will go into effect in 35 days barring an appeal to the US Supreme Court.

During the 1990s, the Parental Notice of Abortion Act represented a significant part of the GOP’s legislative goals, as they dominated the legislature briefly during this decade. It requires parents of girls 17 and under to sign a form that they have been notified about their child’s imminent abortion. This form would then become a permanent part of the patient’s medical record. The state medical licensing board and clerks of the court are in charge of enforcing this law.

Illinois was formerly the sole state in the Midwest not to have parental notification laws passed. Thirty-eight states have passed legislation that requires some form of parental notification. A doctor from the University of Illinois along with a women’s health clinic from Granite City filed a lawsuit that challenged the law that many of the law’s proponents considered to have constitutional basis, which the Supreme Court articulated in its decision. In light of this decision, pro-choice organizations such as Planned Parenthood and Reproductive Rights are scrambling to prepare medical providers and erect teen health clinics that would extend pro-bono  legal assistance for girls who need to obtain a court order to bypass the stipulation. Nonetheless, court clearance would be difficult to obtain and usually only pertains to victims of sexual abuse.

The Illinois Supreme Court’s decision must be condemned and appealed to the US Supreme Court. Young girls possess the capability of making their own medical decisions. Parental intervention in the acquisition of an abortion  for girls 17 and under could lead to an increase in back-alley abortions and other antiquated measures. Please sign this petition to condemn this recent ruling and show support for the ongoing battle against Republicans who continue to limit reproductive rights that puts the health and safety of teenage girls at risk unnecessarily.

PETITION LETTER

Dear Illinois Supreme Court,

The recent ruling to enforce the 1995 measure that requires young women under the age of 18 to notify their parents about obtaining an abortion is unfortunate. By implementing this stipulation, you have opened the door for young women to pursue extreme measures in order to obtain an abortion. Back-alley abortions and other dangerous measures to induce abortion will no doubt increase if this measure goes into effect. It seems you are condoning yet another measure that strips the reproductive rights young women are entitled to.

Statistical data demonstrates that abortion rates do not decline even in states with laws requiring young girls notify their parents. This is because young women seek alternative and sometimes radical means to obtain one. This has shown to be very dangerous and sometimes leads to infertility and even death.

Although your decision has been rendered constitutional through your use of the law, it nonetheless represents a blatant attack on the reproductive rights of young women in Illinois. Thus, I condemn your decision to condone measures that follow the recent trends of Republican-dominated legislatures throughout the country to limit abortions and endanger women’s health.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Rizome via Wikimedia Commons

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Signatures

  • Jessica Mowry
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  • Jane Davidson
  • Victoria Pitchford
  • Betty J. Van Wicklen
  • Ginger Hill
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  • EDWARD G. MRKVICKA
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