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Abortion Extremism at the Expense
of Illinois Children
Amy Gehrke | 04 March 2021
When the Illinois General Assembly passed the sweeping Reproductive Health Act in 2019, legislation that poised Illinois to become the abortion mecca of the Midwest by eradicating the majority of our pro-life laws, many pro-life citizens in Illinois didn’t think things could get much worse. As is always the case with the abortion industry, they have. Illinois’s abortion advocates and their friends in the General Assembly are intent on increasing the number of abortions – and abortion clinics’ profits – by targeting Illinois children.
After an abbreviated legislative session in 2020, Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Personal PAC (Illinois’s wildly influential political action committee dedicated to electing pro-abortion candidates), and other abortion advocacy groups are making up for lost time. They are hard at work on their two top legislative priorities: Repealing Illinois’s Parental Notification of Abortion Act and passing what is known as the REACH Act – REACH is an acronym for Responsible Education for Adolescent and Children’s Health.
The REACH Act would give Planned Parenthood and their cohorts unfettered access to Illinois children beginning when they are in kindergarten. It would require that children receive sex education that is “medically accurate,” "unbiased," and “non-stigmatizing.”. It would also require that children receive instruction about where they can receive "confidential" information and services related to "reproductive health." Finally, as is often the case with comprehensive sex education, many of the proposed teaching materials border on the pornographic.
Anyone familiar with the semantics of the abortion industry knows that what Planned Parenthood and other proponents of the REACH Act really want is the ability to de-stigmatize abortion among schoolchildren. Planned Parenthood and its counterparts will have years to develop relationships with young students because they will be the only organizations authorized to teach sex education in schools. This will lead to increased profits for the abortion industry from a new customer base: children whom the REACH Act has sexualized from the time they were five years old.
While the REACH Act is a priority for Illinois abortion advocates, their number-one goal for this legislative session is repealing the Parental Notice of Abortion Act. This is the last protective, pro-life law in Illinois and, if it falls, Illinois will be a “100% pro-choice state” in the words of the state’s pro-abortion leaders. It was not included in the 2019 Reproductive Health Act as it was feared repealing parental notification might derail the bill.
The Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act simply requires a parent or guardian to be notified if their minor child seeks to obtain an abortion. A judicial bypass may be obtained if it is not in the best interest of the minor seeking the abortion to notify the parent or guardian.
Once again, the desire to repeal the Parental Notice of Abortion Act comes down to money. Since it was enacted in 2013, the teen abortion rate in Illinois has dropped by 57 percent. In addition, the total number of abortions has dropped by approximately 1,000 per year. This translates to millions of dollars in lost revenue for the abortion industry.
Repealing parental notification in Illinois would not only mean a jump in the number of preborn babies killed by abortion. It would usurp the right of parents to be involved in a major health decision being made by their child. It would endanger children as they do not have the brain development to make such a life-changing decision rationally. It would also allow sexual predators and human traffickers to hide their crimes with abortion. Proponents of the repeal claim that the concerns surrounding sexual predators and human traffickers are nothing more than an “anti-choice scare tactic." The reality is that 32% of teen girls aged 15-17 are impregnated by men older than 20.
While the REACH Act and repeal of parental notification have just begun their paths through the Illinois legislature, legislators who support abortion have already scored a major victory. On February 17, Illinois’s Joint Committee on Administrative Rules failed to dismiss an Illinois Board of Education Rule entitled, “Culturally Responsive Teaching and Leading.”
In its original language, this rule mandated that Illinois teachers “embrace and encourage progressive viewpoints and perspectives.” When the term “progressive” began to cause trouble for the rule, the Illinois Board of Education replaced it with “inclusive," which, of course, means exactly the same thing in left-wing vernacular.
What does this mean for Illinois? Educators that do not embrace a radical, left-wing ideology that includes abortion advocacy need not apply.
However grim things might seem for unborn children and their mothers in Illinois, the news is not all bad. Many in Illinois have had enough of rampant abortion extremism. The fact that the radical abortion lobby is attempting to expand their empire on the backs of Illinois children is even too much for some in our state who consider themselves pro-choice.
Those of us who love life in Illinois are engaged and ready to take action. Grassroots support for the right to life is strong. At Illinois Right to Life, we are prepared to take on the immediate threats, and we are also prepared for the long game. We will do everything in our power to stop the abortion industry from further profiting by indoctrinating and endangering our children.
Executive Director, Illinois Right to Life