Chicago Tribune editorial on the Illinois parental notification law due to go into effect today (see below)…..but delayed another day.
It took a long, long time for democracy to work in this
instance, but we’re glad it did, particularly for a measure that
represents an intelligent middle ground on a deeply divisive issue.
Abortion-rights supporters think pregnant girls should have
unrestricted access to abortion, while abortion-rights opponents think
abortion should be illegal for adults as well as teens in most or all
circumstances. Neither got their way this time.
The law recognizes that the constitutional right to privacy
encompasses a woman’s right to have an abortion. But it reflects an
understanding that most minors lack the maturity to handle a matter
like this without the counsel of the people who care most about them.
To most people, we suspect, this is just a matter of common sense.
In this state, after all, a nurse can’t give a minor an aspirin
without the permission of the parents. You can’t get an ear pierced
until age 18 or buy a gun until age 21 unless a parent consents.
Abortion is at least as serious as those choices.
Unlike laws in some states, the Illinois law doesn’t give parents a
veto over their daughter’s decision to get an abortion. But it gives
them the opportunity to be heard at a crucial moment, and to know what
their child is going through.
The last hurdle: Enforcement has been stalled at least until
Wednesday, when a board of the Illinois Department of Financial and
Professional Regulation will meet.
This had better be a routine hearing. The legislature passed this law in 1995. Enough with the delays.