SSN Testimony

Testimony before the Illinois State Legislature on HB 370: Youth Health and Safety Act

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University of Chicago

Below is an excerpt from testimony written with Catherine Hennessey presented before the Senate Executive Committee in support of Illinois HB370 on October 26, 2021.

We are writing in support of this bill which repeals the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995. Our research and that of others reveals the complicated lives of pregnant young people and suggests that they are the ones best able to identify the people in their lives who can help them make decisions about a pregnancy.

To begin with, we know that most young people already involve a parent or trusted adult in their abortion decision. The youngest adolescents are more likely to involve a parent. Young people seek out parental involvement because they want emotional support or logistical assistance, or because they have a close relationship and feel they can be honest. In general, young women want to involve parents and other trusted adults who are an important part of their lives and who will support them, regardless of their decision to seek abortion. A recent study by Ralph et al. in Illinois found that, among those who pursue judicial bypass instead of parental notification, 97% of young people spoke with someone other than clinic staff about their abortion decision, most commonly their partners, friends, and siblings, but also other adults in their lives.