The Corner

Pro-Lifers Get Good News from Illinois

Today the Illinois Supreme Court upheld a state parental-notification law. This law was signed back in 1995, but has been enjoined since that time due to a hydra-headed array of legal challenges. This particular parental-involvement law is not as strong as some others because it allows a minor seeking an abortion to notify a grandmother, a stepparent, or a legal guardian. However, a relatively weak law is better than no law. Every state which borders Illinois is enforcing a parental-involvement law. Hard data is difficult to obtain, but it is likely a significant number of minors in nearby states seek abortions in Illinois. A 2008 LiveAction video showed an abortion provider in Bloomington, Indiana, encouraging a minor to obtain an abortion in Illinois.

The fact that over 30 other states are enforcing parental-involvement laws is a testament to the good work done by both pro-life activists and pro-life lawyers around the country. These laws frequently face legal challenges. In fact, parental-involvement laws in Georgia, Minnesota, Mississippi, South Dakota, and Tennessee were all delayed for extended periods of time due to legal challenges. Furthermore, there is a chance that the Illinois Supreme Court’s ruling will be appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. Supreme Court decisions on abortion-related issues are often unpredictable. However, previous Supreme Court rulings in H.L. v. Matheson and Planned Parenthood v. Casey have upheld the constitutionality of parental-involvement laws.

Overall, there is a nice body of academic research which indicates that parental-involvement laws are effective. At least 17 academic studies, analyzing different states, have found that parental-involvement laws reduce minor abortion rates. The best study of a parental-involvement law appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine in 2006. It analyzed the Texas parental-notice law which took effect in 2000. It found that the Texas law reduced minor abortion rates. It also found that months after the law took effect, there was a slight, but statistically significant, increase in the minor birth rate. This indicates that due to the law, some minors were carrying their pregnancy to term, instead of having an abortion. As such, this Illinois law should go a long way toward protecting minors and their unborn children.

Michael J. New is a visiting assistant professor of social research and political science at the Catholic University of America and an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute in Washington, D.C.

Most Popular

Elections

Bernie’s Houses

Mike Bloomberg scored a hit -- a palpable hit -- in the debate this week when he pointed back at Bernie Sanders and said: “What a wonderful country we have, the best-known socialist in the country happens to be a millionaire with three houses.” Many conservatives laughed and cheered and wondered why Bernie ... Read More
Elections

Bernie’s Houses

Mike Bloomberg scored a hit -- a palpable hit -- in the debate this week when he pointed back at Bernie Sanders and said: “What a wonderful country we have, the best-known socialist in the country happens to be a millionaire with three houses.” Many conservatives laughed and cheered and wondered why Bernie ... Read More

South Park as Healing Mechanism

It didn’t take too long into 2020 for people on Twitter to start earnestly debating whether South Park, an extremely popular show that has been on air for decades, has been wreaking havoc on our society with its offensiveness. As far as I can tell, the conversation started with a series of tweets from She-Hulk ... Read More

South Park as Healing Mechanism

It didn’t take too long into 2020 for people on Twitter to start earnestly debating whether South Park, an extremely popular show that has been on air for decades, has been wreaking havoc on our society with its offensiveness. As far as I can tell, the conversation started with a series of tweets from She-Hulk ... Read More
Elections

Four Overlooked Weaknesses of Bernie Sanders

Four frequently overlooked weaknesses of Bernie Sanders: Another health issue, even a minor one, would end his campaign. Trying to knock off a candidate who has the largest plurality of delegates in a convention floor fight is an extremely difficult task … unless that candidate is 78 years old and has had ... Read More
Elections

Four Overlooked Weaknesses of Bernie Sanders

Four frequently overlooked weaknesses of Bernie Sanders: Another health issue, even a minor one, would end his campaign. Trying to knock off a candidate who has the largest plurality of delegates in a convention floor fight is an extremely difficult task … unless that candidate is 78 years old and has had ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Florida Bill to Ban ‘Nature Rights’

I have been warning that “nature rights” would soon become part of the Democratic Party's environmental platform. That hasn't happened at the national party level -- yet. But Florida's Democratic Party has embraced the idea that nature should have rights that anyone can sue to enforce in its official ... Read More
Law & the Courts

Florida Bill to Ban ‘Nature Rights’

I have been warning that “nature rights” would soon become part of the Democratic Party's environmental platform. That hasn't happened at the national party level -- yet. But Florida's Democratic Party has embraced the idea that nature should have rights that anyone can sue to enforce in its official ... Read More