On Friday, the governor of Illinois, JB Pritzker, repealed the last state pro-life law that required abortion clinics to notify parents when a minor seeks an abortion. This generated strong statements of rejection from pro-life advocates, including a Catholic bishop who called the move a “dark and shameful” moment for the state, according to Life Site News.
The measure, which will take effect on Jan. 1, 2024, and passed in the Democratic-controlled state legislature, repeals a 1995 law requiring at least 48 hours notice to a parent or guardian when a minor 17 or younger seeks an abortion.
Pritzker, a Democrat, called the repeal of the law “essential,” aligning himself with the abortion industry’s narrative, which profits from the murder of unborn babies, that it is a women’s ‘reproductive health’ issue.
“With reproductive rights under attack across the nation, Illinois is once again establishing itself as a leader in ensuring access to health care services,” the governor stated.
“This repeal was essential, because it was the most vulnerable pregnant minors who were punished by this law: victims of rape and physical abuse in unsafe homes,” Pritzker added.
But Illinois Republicans criticized the move by the governor and other pro-abortion Democrats for taking away parents’ right to know about something so critical in their daughters’ lives. They even posit that the repeal violates the will of the majority of Illinois citizens and puts girls at risk.
State Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Ill.) stated that “Parents deserve the right to know if their minor child is seeking any major medical procedure, especially one like an abortion where there can be serious short and long term consequences,” according to the Associated Press. “Instead, today, the Democrat majority has chosen to recklessly push those rights to the wayside,” he added.
Meanwhile, today, Illinois Catholic Bishop Thomas John Paprocki strongly condemned the repeal of the law, asserting that it “marks a dark and disgraceful moment in the history of the State of Illinois.” He said that those who have “promoted and voted” in support of the Democrats “… deceptively titled Illinois Youth Health and Safety Act,” including Pritzker, “have granted a five-part victory to evil” in Illinois.
The first he mentions is that of child traffickers who are allowed by the measure to “more easily than ever before cover up their crimes with impunity.” As a second consideration, he mentions that the repeal “violates the most fundamental rights and duties entrusted by God to parents to ensure the health and safety of their children” and “which no government can take away.”
“Third, our government has imperiled the children whom God has entrusted to their governance,” the bishop said, noting that laws preventing children from making life-altering decisions are made precisely to protect them. So “our government has knowingly put our children in mortal danger and physical danger.”
“Fourth, and most grievous, our government has promoted and facilitated murder,” he said, noting that this “offense” against God and neighbor is now more accessible to minors than “tattoos or getting their ears pierced.”
“Fifth,” Paprocki said, “the government has provided evil the cover of darkness in which it thrives. The devil desires darkness and despises the light. It is striking how much this legislation does to provide cover, secrecy, and darkness over evil deeds,” Paprocki continued. “But the Light will come and judge the deeds of men.”
This move against unborn life contrasts with two private pro-life victories that occurred this month. First, a conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court signaled that it would uphold Mississippi’s ban and could overturn a national right to abortion that existed under the court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision. The court also left in place a Texas ban on most abortions.