The repeal of Illinois’ Parental Notification Act took effect on June 1, 2022. Now, minors are no longer required to inform an adult or guardian of their choice to have an abortion. Also, House Bill 370 passed in October, which is also called the Youth Health and Safety Act. This helps set up Illinois as an “oasis” for young people searching for abortion from neighboring states. In 2020, the Illinois Department of Public Health reports 1,180 girls under the age of 18 had a pregnancy terminated. Of those, 88 were younger than 15. What are the implications for Illinois pregnancy centers like Caring Network?
Caring Network is a group of six pregnancy resource centers in the western suburbs of Chicago. We have been providing free services and compassionate support to men and women experiencing unplanned pregnancies since 1981. Regardless of age, status, place of residence, or background, all of our services are free and confidential. To learn more about how to support our work, reach out today!
Legislation Update Illinois – House Bill 370
Illinois House Bill 370 follows the Reproductive Health Act of 2019 that establishes the fundamental right to abortion in the State of Illinois. The language in HB 370 goes as far to say, “The Reproductive Health Act further established Illinois as a bulwark in the protection of access to reproductive health care in the Midwest.” Many states surrounding Illinois have restrictions regarding abortion. To follow up, the Youth Health and Safety Act was passed to:
“ensure that Illinois residents, and individuals coming to the State of Illinois to access reproductive health care, are safe and free from barriers to access, including, but not limited to, medically unnecessary waiting periods, bans on particular reproductive health procedures, and restrictions or legal threats when accessing reproductive health care. The State of Illinois recognizes it is not the role of government to deny access to reproductive health care for its residents and those traveling to the State to access healthcare, especially those who are traveling to the State of Illinois because of the implementation of severe abortion restrictions in their home states.”
House Bill 370 and Parental Notification Repeal
Between the passing of House Bill 370 and the repeal of the Parental Notification Act, any legal barriers to accessing abortion in Illinois have been removed. Many young women may be traveling from surrounding states to seek an abortion in Illinois. For example, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, in 2020, more than 9,600 out of state residents terminated their pregnancy in Illinois, and more than 6,500 were from Missouri. With that, the work of pregnancy resource centers is more important that ever.
Making an Impact for Life in Illinois
Caring Network is strategically primed for an influx of women traveling from out of state seeking abortion in Illinois. Our vision is to expand our centers to develop affiliate locations throughout the state, especially in underserved areas where the need is greatest. By developing these new centers, we will be able to provide abortion alternatives and necessary early pregnancy services for abortion-minded women, all at no cost. These centers will be a beacon of hope and light in situations where women may think that their only option is to have an abortion. The work of pregnancy resource centers in Illinois is more vital than ever.
Caring Network can’t fulfill this bold vision without the partnership of churches and individuals in our community. Whether you live in Illinois or a surrounding state, there are ways you can join in our kingdom-impacting endeavor. Through prayer, volunteering, or financial partnership you can make an impact for life. Reach out to us today to learn more!