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State orgs push for repeal of Parental Notification Act

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A number of Illinois organizations have started to speak out on the repeal of the Parental Notification Act in Illinois.

Planned Parenthood of Illinois Action has long been a proponent of repealing the law, which requires the notification of an adult guardian for anyone below the age of 18 at least 48 hours before receiving abortion services. Other organizations that have become vocal don’t necessarily focus on women’s healthcare.

The Illinois chapter of the Sierra Club, an environmental organization, pointed to the increased attacks on legal abortion for its support repealing the PNA.

“All people deserve the right to live in healthy and safe communities, communities that provide equitable access to clean air, clean water, and healthcare — including the right to self-determination over reproductive health are inextricably linked,” said state director Jack Darin. “The environmental justice and reproductive justice movements both work to ensure that everyone can live in a safe environment and has the freedom to make decisions about their bodies, health, and environment.”

Equality Illinois, the state’s largest LGBTQ rights organization has also been giving their support.

“Whether you are an LGBTQ Illinoisan or an allied co-conspirator for justice, it is imperative that we all activate and understand that LGBTQ rights and reproductive rights are profoundly interwoven,” said EI Deputy Director Mony Ruiz-Velasco. “Autonomy over our own bodies is a fundamental right. “

The ACLU of Illinois released a letter from a coalition of human rights and anti-trafficking groups pushing back against claims that repealing the PNA would expose teens to human trafficking.

“Repealing the parental notice of abortion act in Illinois would not result in more child trafficking,“ the letter reads. “It would also not impact the ability for child trafficking victims to be identified.“

The letter argues that the misinformation being spread by these anti-abortion activists is rooted in harmful misconceptions about the extremely complex issue of human trafficking and exploitation. The groups note that it is also borne out of a fundamental misunderstanding that families and parents are always safe resources for youth who are experiencing trafficking. The letter notes that “in fact, traffickers can be and often are the young person‘s parents or family members.”

“This specious argument is being advanced by those who have long promoted parental notice and other limitations on access to abortion care in the state of Illinois,“ said Emily Werth, a lawyer with the ACLU of Illinois. “To use the lives of young people who have experienced trafficking in a desperate attempt to maintain dangerous anti-abortion policies in the state of Illinois is the height of hypocrisy.”

The organizations include Chicago Alliance Against Sexual Exploitation, Heartland Human Care Services, Illinois Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Illinois Coalition Against Sexual Assault, Mujeres Latinas en Acción and Jewish Community Against Sex Trafficking Chicago.

A copy of the letter can be found here

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