The Illinois Senate has passed a bill that would remove parental notification from a parental consent law for abortions after 12 weeks of pregnancy.
The vote followed an impassioned Senate debate, as senators on both sides of the aisle spoke in support of the bill. The Senate also voted for the bill 19 to 15.
Illinois’ parental consent law, which has been in place since 1965, requires a parent or guardian to be notified before a minor can obtain an abortion for any reason other than incest.
“The government has no right to intrude into a woman’s private medical decisions,” State Sen. Kimberly Lightford, a Democrat from Chicago, told her colleagues before the vote.
But many also acknowledged that parental notification is a “privilege” denied to minors.
State Sen. Thomas Cullerton, a Democrat from Illinois, told the Senate that the requirements of the bill wouldn’t keep parents from caring for their children if their pregnancies required abortions. The bill also does not require parental consent for abortions because only minors who have contact with school officials will need parental permission, since school officials will be notified.
The Senate defeated an amendment that would require parental consent for the second time when senators voted down a similar amendment after a two-hour debate.
The measure now goes to the Illinois House.