State Ignoring Existing Laws : Campaign News : Lauzen for Congress Committee
|State Ignoring Existing Laws|
|by Senator Chris Lauzen|
In 1995, I co-sponsored and the state Legislature passed two Senate bills regarding parental notification for abortion. One was vetoed and the other was tabled. Late one night after the Senate debate on this issue, Sen. Kirk Dillard and I came out to the Capitol driveway and found the tires of our cars slashed.
Eventually, the essential benefits of parental notification before a minor undergoes an abortion were recognized, and Public Act 89-0018 was passed with my "yes" vote. But the Illinois Supreme Court at that time refused to adopt the necessary rules that would allow for "judicial bypass" for cases where there was some exceptional problem with a minor's parents. Without those rules, the federal court blocked enforcement of the law.
Then in September 2006, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed its position and adopted the required rules. Following that decision, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan sought to have the injunction lifted in January 2007 so the law could be enforced. The federal court, however, now refuses to lift that injunction until the rules for judicial bypass are implemented in all 102 Illinois counties.
So, as I understand the complex situation as a non-lawyer, it is now up to all counties in Illinois to put in place the mechanisms to implement the rules set by the Illinois State Supreme Court. This does not appear to be moving to completion.
I believe, and most of my constituents seem to believe, that parents -- not abortion providers -- are the best people to counsel, advise and care for their children who are making life-and-death decisions about an unborn child and their own physical and emotional futures. It is tragic that 12 years later, the Aurora City Council must still debate a law that has already been passed by the state Legislature and signed by a governor. That job is already done.
Unfortunately in Illinois, we are witnessing a growing pattern of ignoring existing state laws, whether it be immigration; the diversion of $650 million in annual gas taxes from roads and bridges to the general fund; the misappropriation of lottery funds that were supposed to go to education; the creation of billions of dollars in new programs with no legislative authority; and, of course, parental notification.
It is as if our Constitution, with its assigned responsibilities and authorities along with limiting checks and balances, is simply being ignored.
When the state executive and even judicial branches abdicate their responsibilities, the will of the people expressed through legislative action is totally frustrated. I am afraid that, as much as I admire the proper and good intention of the measure, all the city council resolutions in the world will not solve this fundamental disrespect for the law and our state Constitution.
And, just as Aurora resident Wanda Geist so perfectly summarized about parental notification in The Beacon News on Wednesday, "This law upholds family values, parental responsibility and child safety." The people who are really hurt are our children.
Chris Lauzen of Aurora is state senator of the 25th District.
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