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updated: 7/11/2013 2:50 PM

Parke: Illinois 'caught up' on abortion law

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  • Former state Rep. Terry Parke was the original sponsor of the law requiring doctors to tell parents if a minor wants an abortion.

    Former state Rep. Terry Parke was the original sponsor of the law requiring doctors to tell parents if a minor wants an abortion.
    Joe Lewnard/Daily Herald file photo


SPRINGFIELD -- The Illinois Supreme Court's decision to uphold a law requiring doctors to tell minors' parents if they want an abortion enacts legislation championed by former state Rep. Terry Parke of Hoffman Estates back in 1995.

"It's so controversial, but I think this is a common-sense law to protect young women in our state," Parke, the lead sponsor of the law, said Thursday.

"It was an issue that I believed in strongly," he said.

After a 22-year stint in the Illinois House marked by his strong promotion of conservative views, Parke was defeated in the 2006 election by state Rep. Fred Crespo, a Hoffman Estates Democrat. But long after Parke's exit from the legislature, the legal battles over the abortion notification law continued.

Parke said he's been paying attention to the issue.

"I think Illinois has finally caught up with the concept," Parke said.

The controversy surrounding the abortion notification law was on display within hours of the court's decision. Planned Parenthood pushed back.

"Most teens seek their parents' advice and counsel when making decisions about their health care. But in some cases, safe and open communication is not possible," Carole Brite, president of Planned Parenthood of Illinois, said in a statement. "In those cases, research shows mandatory parental notice laws do not enhance parent-teen communication."

That statement suggests the organization will help women work within the law, but Parke said he wouldn't be surprised if the General Assembly, controlled by Democrats, tries to overturn it. Parke won approval for the legislation in 1995, when the House was controlled by Republicans. It's been on hold during the lengthy legal battle.

"This issue is so controversial, I wouldn't be surprised if there was an initiative," he said.

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