Any law that regulates the abortion industry, enacted after
considerable legal battles over time, is a victory for pro-life
advocates and for women and children. A new one goes into effect today in the state of Illinois.

Physicians in Illinois this week must begin notifying a
parent or guardian when a girl 17 or younger seeks an abortion — a rule
abortion opponents long have sought, but which critics say could keep
minors from seeking safe procedures.

Notice the standard media template of identifying pro-lifers as
“abortion opponents”. Which makes activists on the other side
what….abortion proponents.

Not in the media.

Critics of the notification law believe it’s
unconstitutional and that it will harm minors by preventing them from
obtaining safe abortions or forcing them to carry their pregnancies to
term. Most teenagers already involve their parents in the decision,
abortion rights advocates say. Those who don’t, they argue, have good
reason.

So they’re “abortion rights advocates”. Who would have us believe
that most teen girls wanting an abortion “involve their parents in the
decision”. No source or documentation on that claim, and none
apparently requested by the reporter.

This law has loopholes, by the way.

No notice is required in a medical emergency or if the
girl declares in writing that she is a victim of sexual abuse. And a
provision in the law allows girls to bypass parental notification by
going before a judge, who would then have 48 hours to rule on the
petition.

Critics worry the courts are unprepared to handle the petitions.

Sounds like abortion activists figure maybe a lot of teenage girls don’t already consult their parents, after all.

Under this new law…

The onus is on the clinics to make sure a parent is kept
in the loop before the abortion is performed. The law states that the
abortion provider must give notice directly, by phone or in person, but
it provides exceptions in cases where the parent, grandparent,
stepparent in the household or legal guardian is difficult to reach.

Define “difficult to reach”. I have friends and family members
difficult to reach because they don’t keep their cell phones on or near
them, and don’t check them often.

For many local clinics, including those run by Planned
Parenthood, staff will try to reach a parent or guardian by phone if
the teenager requesting the procedure is younger than 18 and has not
brought in a signed form.

Understandably, they will not leave a message on the phone, says Illinois Planned Parenthood spokeswoman Beth Kanter.

Kanter said that if a staff member has not made contact
after two phone attempts, he or she will send a letter by certified
mail.

After 48 hours has passed, Kanter said, “the assumption is, by the
courts, notice has been given,” and the teen can have the procedure.

Wait…..it takes that long for a letter to arrive. They’re saying ‘time’s up’ just about the time people are opening their mail.

Taking them at their word, this is at least some accountability:

Staff members at Planned Parenthood clinics in Illinois
will not proceed if something “feels fishy” about the notification,
Kanter said, adding that the teenage girl must sign a form
acknowledging that lying in this scenario is a Class C misdemeanor.

However…

The state will not police the clinics.

So, the perception of stricter regulations may exceed the reality.

Pro-Life Action League director Joe Scheidler says the law “will
probably stop some abortion.” If it stops even one, if one life is
saved and lived and enjoyed and appreciated by all the people who will
come to know and love that person in their lifetime…..it was worth
every ounce of effort to get this law passed.

If it makes it past one final hurdle

Sheila Liaugminas

Sheila Liaugminas is an Emmy award-winning Chicago-based journalist in print and broadcast media. Her writing and broadcasting covers matters of faith, culture, politics and the media....