Press

Media Coverage:

Illinois Youth Leaders Campaign to Repeal Parental Notification of Abortion (PNA) Law” by Tiffany Pryor. Repro Health Watch, National Partnership for Women & Families. July 14, 2015.

We’ve been working to raise awareness among Illinois residents and legislators, especially by centering the voices of young people. Youth say they usually seek out a trusted adult for support when they need an abortion, but it’s not always a parent. Every young person is in a different situation when they seek abortion care.

“Alabama’s New Law Will Let Fetuses Have Lawyers” by Dani McClain. The Nation. October 9, 2014.

Hernandez, who is mother to a teenager, said she’s often asked how she can oppose laws that serve to “strengthen” families. “I’m pro-parent but anti-parental notice,” she said, and pointed out that too many families lack a culture in which teenagers feel they can speak to adults about sex and not be judged. And given the real dangers some teens face at the hands of their guardians? “I think that young people should be able to make decisions about their bodies without being forced to notify,” she said.

“The Danger of Parental Notification of Abortion Laws” by Renee Bracey Sherman. EBONY. August 20, 2014.

Young people are resilient. They can and do and already are making smart decisions about their bodies each and every day. Why are we enacting laws that put them in harms way and create unnecessary barriers to health care? No matter how anyone feels about abortion, I can’t imagine that we as a society think it’s better to send our young people into harm’s way and force them to become a parent when they aren’t ready to, rather than give them access to the safe healthcare they deserve.

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“OP-ED: Warning: These States May Be Harmful To Your Health” by Yamani Hernandez. Progress Illinois. August 12, 2014.

This month marks one year since the implementation of the forced parental notification of abortion law in Illinois. It’s a moment to reflect on what that means for the people of Illinois, especially in the light of what’s happened in other states where similar laws have been implemented. Over time, these youth-targeted abortion laws have turned into a slippery slope towards more and more dangerous regulation that restricts access to abortion services. Representatives Kathleen Willis and Robyn Gabel support the efforts of the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health and allied organizations to oppose this dangerous law.

“ICAH Art Installations brings beauty, social messages” by Jason Carson Wilson. The Windy City Times. July 23, 2014.

“The flags bring the stories more to life,” Phillips said. “We wanted to embody the stories in as many ways as we possibly could. When these stories are told, it puts the faces [out there].”

“I think the goal is to open up people for conversation,” Hunt said, noting that it “allowed young people to use their creativity to respond to a public-policy issue.”

“Make/Art/Space Seeks to Change Controversial Illinois Abortion Law through Art” by Zachary Woznak. The Chicago Bureau. July 21, 2014.

Zaleski, who plans on touring the pieces around Chicago over the next year, says communicating through art does more than just make it easier to talk about such a heavy topic. She realized this while travelling to the first day of the installation, held at University Church in Hyde Park. By coincidence, a group of pro-life demonstrators had gathered not far from their site…

“5 Myths About Youth-Targeted Abortion Laws” by Yamani Hernandez, ICAH Executive Director. RH Reality Check. June 27, 2014.

There are 23 states that mandate parental involvement, yet do not require sex education in schools. What’s more, 37 states don’t require sex education (if provided) to be medically accurate! In essence, these states are telling youth, “We won’t provide you with comprehensive or accurate sex education, but if you get pregnant it’s your fault and we won’t support you. We’ll just make it more difficult and expensive to get the health services you need.”

“Listen to Youth: Adult Allies Must Support the Repeal of Illinois’ Forced Parental Notification Law” by Renee Bracey Sherman. RH Reality Check. May 27, 2014.

“We should support families as they work to build trust, but political interference is not the answer. I know this first-hand—I became pregnant in my teens and sought an abortion from a clinic on Chicago’s north side. Even though my parents believe that people should be able to seek abortion when they need it, I was still scared to tell them I was pregnant. With everything I was told about teen pregnancy, I felt ashamed. I felt like I had failed.”

Will the Parental Notice of Abortion Act help or hurt young women?” by Julia Thiel. Chicago Reader. April 28, 2014.

…There’s no consensus on whether parental notification laws reduce the incidence of teen abortions. A study published in 2006 in the New England Journal of Medicine tracked abortion rates in Texas before 2000, when the state’s parental notification law went into effect, and after. The research showed that after the law went into effect abortion rates dropped 11 to 20 percent more among 15- to 17-year-olds than among 18-year olds, but the rate of second-trimester abortions increased by a third among minors who were 17 and a half or slightly older at the time of conception—possibly because they waited until they turned 18 to avoid parental notification. An analysis by the New York Times of data gathered from six states (Arizona, Idaho, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia) that enacted parental notification laws between 1995 and 2004—released the same week as the NEJM study—”found no evidence that the laws had a significant impact on the number of minors who got pregnant, or, once pregnant, the number who had abortions.”

“It’s All Connected: Youth Homelessness, Health Access, and the Parental Notification of Abortion Law in Illinois” by Lara Brooks. Advocates for Youth Blog. May 14, 2014.

…As a long-time youth worker, sexual assault counselor, and former director of a youth center, I know that young people, navigating complex realities and complicated systems, are making informed and thoughtful decisions about their bodies—something that the very premise of PNA erases altogether. As an advocate and youth ally, I resist that erasure.

“Reproductive Rights Advocates Demand Repeal Of Illinois’ Abortion Notification Law (VIDEO)” by Ellyn Fortino. Progress Illinois. April 3, 2014.

…ICAH youth leader and Chicago resident Anthony Beaver, 24, had a chance to speak with State Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago) about the law. “She told me that she’s very much against PNA [parental notification of abortion], it’s just that with the current way the House and Senate are right now, this might not be the right time to try to get a whole repeal,” Beaver said. “But this is more about raising awareness, so that whoever comes into power next, they think more progressively and are aware of what PNA is.”

“Group Rallies for End to Parental Notification Law” (Transcription Available, Video has been archived.) ABC 20 News.

…The Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health says there are potential dangers when a minor tells a parent she’s pregnant. These include physical violence and threats of physical violence when there is a negative parent-child relationship. The group says in some cases, parents force children to keep the pregnancy, when could lead to mental health and financial issues.

“Press Release: Youth Leaders to Advocate in Springfield” by ICAH, March 6, 2014.

…Advocacy Day 2014 will focus on amplifying the stories of youth while encouraging intergenerational conversations around sex, sexuality, pregnancy, abortion and the ways we can work together to create safe spaces for these conversations. After training and education, youth and adult allies will have the opportunity to engage legislators in similar conversations. Participants will end the day with a youth-led rally in the Capitol Rotunda.

“Parental Notification Laws Obstruct Abortion Access” by Claire Glass. Truth-Out. September 13, 2013.

…Parent involvement laws cannot conjure love and support for pregnant teens where there’s violence in the home; what they do is reduce access to abortion and increase the likelihood of more complicated later-term abortions. After a decades-long legal battle against parental involvement laws for abortion, Illinois became the 39th state to enact legislation on August 15. Now, minors in the state will have to notify a parent, grandparent, live-in stepparent, or legal guardian 48 hours before having an abortion. These laws have proven to be some of the most toxic in a nationwide assault on reproductive rights, whittling away the potency of Roe v. Wade.

“Parental Notification: What to Do?” by K. Sujata. Huffington Post. April 13, 2013.

…This is a terrible situation that no one would wish upon any young woman. Now, due to a recent ruling by the Illinois Supreme Court it could become all too commonplace. The court recently ruled to make the 20 year, unenforced abortion parental notification law constitutional, unless there’s an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

“Parental Notification Laws for Abortion Cause Physical and Emotional Harm” Huffington Post, February 5, 2010.

…I have seen first hand the harms that forced parental involvement impose on young women. My first clinic position in this field was as a counselor in Colorado before the state adopted parental notification. Every weekend I would counsel young women from the neighboring state of Utah, who had lied to their parents, borrowed money and often unreliable transportation, and driven long hours on strange highways and interstates to get to our clinic. It was not unusual to arrive at the clinic and find the young woman and the person who had traveled with her sleeping in a car.

View list of past articles on a variety of media outlets via Huffington Post.

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