State Representative Chris Bos (R-Lake Zurich) issued the following statement in response to the Illinois House voting to repeal Illinois’s parental notification of abortion law.
“As a father of two daughters, I am deeply concerned about the repeal of Illinois’ parental notification law,” said Bos. “Worse though, as someone who has spent years in the fight against sex trafficking I am heartbroken for what this repeal means for victims. This is not hyperbole, I have looked into the eyes a minor girl who was coerced into the sex trade and seen a pain I cannot know. She was saved from her torment because her parents were notified when her abuser took her for an abortion to cover up the crime. And sadly, there are many more like her, but thankfully many of them have begun the process of healing because parental notification was in place.
“It is the responsibility the legislature to pass laws that protect our most vulnerable children, not put them at greater risk. Unfortunately, the repeal of parental notification means those who victimize and abuse children will now have another tool to continue the cycle of violence, exploitation and abuse of children for their own personal and selfish gains.”
Prior to joining the General Assembly, Bos served as the Director of Development for Reclaim13, a non-profit that works to free children from sexual exploitation by focusing on prevention programs for adolescents and adults, and healing programs for children and young adult victims of human trafficking. The organization also runs the only safe house for minors who have been rescued from sexual abuse, exploitation and trafficking.
Additional information updated Friday, October 29:
This week, Illinois Democrats passed legislation to repeal Illinois’ decades-old Parental Notification of Abortion Act. House Bill 370 was passed on largely partisan lines by a vote of 62-51-3, although several Democrats joined Republicans to vote No.
The Parental Notification of Abortion Act required a parent or legal guardian to be notified before a minor child underwent an abortion procedure. The law did not require parental consent, only notification. Safeguards were built into the law to protect victims of sexual or physical abuse via a judicial bypass proceeding.
State Representative Avery Bourne joined Rep. Bos, and Republican colleagues, to stand firmly opposed to legislation to repeal the Parental Notification Act as it was debated in the Illinois House of Representatives.
Those who voted against the move to repeal parental notification strongly believe that a parent should have the right to know if their child is having a serious, medical, surgical procedure. Make no mistake; an abortion is a serious medical procedure.
A young girl who is scared and frightened, and feels she has no other option, may not be forthright about her medical history that could put her at more serious risk of complications, or even death, during a surgical procedure like this.
Without parental consent, children under the age of 18 cannot:
- Get a tattoo
- Go on a school field trip
- Participate in school sports
- Take Tylenol at the school nurse’s office for a headache
- Get a driver’s license
Why would we take away a parent’s right to be informed that their minor child is having an abortion, a serious medical procedure? If your child were having an appendectomy or their wisdom teeth removed, would you want them to be alone for it, or would you want to make sure they were cared for after the procedure?
The danger of this legislation is not just that it strips parents of the right to be informed about serious medical decisions their children are making – it’s also the danger it poses to children who are being sexually abused, exploited, or trafficked.
Ultimately, this issue comes down to one central and critical issue – protecting children. It is the responsibility of legislators to pass laws that protect the most vulnerable children, not put them at greater risk.
Parental notification ensures a parent knows when their child is receiving an invasive medical procedure and allows them to understand the scope of trauma if their child has been abused.
Illinois’ parental notification law is strongly supported by the overwhelming majority of Illinoisans, including those who consider themselves to be pro-choice.
A March 2021 poll by The Tarrance Group found that 72% of Illinois voters support the parental notification law requiring a parent or guardian to be notified before a minor has an abortion.