Abortion-Seeking Minors’ Views on the Illinois Parental Notification Law: A Qualitative Study (2012)

UPDATE: While the parental involvement law was not in place in Illinois at the time the research was performed, the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion is now in effect.  Under this act, health care providers must notify an adult family member 48 hours before performing an abortion for a patient under 18 years old.  There are now a total of 39 states in the U.S. that have parental involvement laws in effect.

Researchers interviewed 30 women ages 14 to 17 who were seeking abortion services in Chicago to learn their opinions about the parental involvement law.

  • Participants were very concerned that the parental involvement law could harm minors.
    • Most participants believed that it is their private decision to choose who to tell or don’t tell, that parents are not necessarily the people they trust the most and that they will lose control over their bodies.  (Kavanagh et al., 2012. p.161)
    • “Many participants expressed concern that […] some parents might […] force [them] to continue the pregnancy” (Kavanagh et al., 2012. p.162)
    • Many participants fear unsupportive parents will physically or emotionally abuse them, kick them out of the house or be disappointed  with them (Kavanagh et al., 2012. p.162)
    • Participants did mention some benefits of the parental involvement law
      • They would be able to gain outside support during this difficult decision
      • Their parents or guardians would know if complications arise from the procedure
      • It would maintain a sense of trust between the parent/guardian and daughter
      • All states that mandate parental involvement also allow a judicial bypass option but participants view this option as another barrier to abortion. (Kavanagh et al., 2012. p.164)

Read more about the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act here and here

Read more about Parental Involvement in Minors’ Abortions here

Citation: Kavanagh, E.K., Lee, A., Hasselbacher, B.B., Tristan, S. and Gilliam, M. (2012). Abortion-Seeking Minors’ Views on the Illinois Parental Notification Law: A Qualitative Study.  Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health. Vol.44., Issue 3.,159-166.

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