As we recently reported, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) released the 2017 Abortion Statistics for Illinois. At first glance, what immediately stands out is not just the increase in abortions on Illinois residents, but the jump in reported abortions on women coming to Illinois from out-of-state. These out-of-state abortions have increased 86% in just three years (since 2014), with a reported total of 5,528 out-of-state abortions in 2017.
There is no doubt. This increase is indicative of how truly regressive we are when it comes to protecting pre-born children in Illinois. Illinois is an outlier amongst our neighbors, whose legislatures have consulted science and found that discouraging abortions is in the best interest of their residents.
As reported by The Daily Caller, Iowa, Indiana, and Missouri have passed bans on abortions after 20 weeks. Missouri also enacted a 72-hour waiting period before abortion procedures. Indiana law requires women to have an ultrasound at least 18 hours before having an abortion. These are just a few examples. The list goes on.
Illinois, however, remains out-of-touch and extreme with its pro-abortion policies.
There is ONE pro-life policy that has stuck it out in Illinois. As a matter of fact, it has been saving lives since 2013, and its impact can be seen in the 2017 report. It’s the silver lining – the hidden pro-life victory – in the 2017 Abortion Statistics report.
The Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Law.
This law mandates that no physician can knowingly perform an abortion on a minor child (17 years old and younger) until that physician (or an agent of the physician) has ensured that the child’s parent, grandparent, or legal guardian has received notice 48 hours prior to performing the abortion that his or her child is seeking an abortion.
Prior to this law, a school counselor could not take a child on a school field trip without parental consent, but that same school counselor could place a minor girl in a cab and send her to an abortion clinic for a serious surgical procedure… without ever telling her parents. Underage girls could not be prescribed Tylenol by a school nurse without parental consent, but could be able to receive an invasive medical procedure without their parents’ knowledge.
Until a few years ago, Illinois was the only Midwestern state without a parental notice or consent law in effect. This allowed thousands of abortions to be performed in Illinois on non-resident minors who crossed state lines, often accompanied by the adults who impregnated them, to evade their own state’s parental notice or consent laws.
Thankfully, Illinois Parental Notification finally was enforced in Illinois in August of 2013, when the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that it was indeed constitutional, after being challenged.
Now that the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act is being enforced, Illinois can no longer be a “fugitive” abortion state – a “dumping ground” for resident and non-resident minors’ abortions.
Each year since 2012 – the year before the law was enforced in Illinois – we’ve seen a decline in the number of abortions done on Illinois minor girls. Since then, abortions on Illinois minors have dropped 55%.
We’ve seen about 1,000 less abortions on Illinois minors each of the past three years (2015-2017) in comparison to 2012, and that represents the savings of the lives of thousands of babies.
It’s a victory for LIFE.