Illinois's Medical Disciplinary Board has voted to start enforcing a law that requires doctors to give the parents or guardians of girls 17 or younger 48 hours' notice before providing them with abortions.
For a primer on why parental notification laws suck, check out this article at RH Reality Check. Some highlights:
While parental notification laws are intended to protect young women, they assume that all young women can safely involve their family in the decision to terminate a pregnancy. Ideally, young women would freely inform their parents or other trusted adults. And most do...
However, the government cannot mandate good family dynamics or strengthen a family's ability to engage in effective and positive communication. Interestingly enough, parental notification laws mandate family involvement only after a young woman already has become pregnant.
...[M]ore than half of young women who do not involve a parent in their decision to seek an abortion cite fear of abuse or eviction. The American Medical Association (AMA) reports that some young women will go to extreme and unhealthy lengths to keep pregnancies secret, including running away, obtaining illegal abortions, or self-inducing abortions.
The AMA and other medical organizations recommend against parental notification laws. Research in Texas, which has required parental notification since 2000, has shown that it increased the likelihood that a girl would undergo a second-term abortion, which carries greater health risks. So, to recap, the majority of pregnant girls voluntarily tell their parents before seeking abortion, and those who don't probably have a good reason for keeping quiet — like fearing abuse or being thrown out of the house. Girls will risk their lives with illegal abortions rather than risk telling their parents, which might suggest that they know something about their own family dynamics we don't. Major medical organizations think it's a bad idea. And so... Illinois is about to become the 35th state to go ahead with it. Of course.
If you haven't had your fill of depressing reproductive rights-related news from Illinois yet, take a gander at the story of Donna Quinn, a Dominican sister who's been volunteering as an escort at a Chicago-area clinic. Quinn, who's in favor of contraception and women's ordination as well as being pro-choice, has been caught in the Vatican's dragnet and is giving up her work as an advocate for women at the clinic. Although her order, the Sinsinawa Dominicans, have supported her in the past, the recent increased scrutiny of women religious in America seems to have led them to reprimand her and release a statement saying, "her actions are in violation of her profession" and expressing regret over the controversy. Nevertheless, Quinn maintains that stopping her work as an escort was her own decision, made in part to protect the patients. She told The Chicago Tribune: