Parental notification for abortions prevents the continued sexual exploitation by abusers who use abortion to cover up their crimes. Regardless of whether you are pro-choice or pro-life, we can find common ground on this issue. We should all agree that we should make it as difficult as possible for sex traffickers and sexual abusers to cover up their crimes and continue their abuse.
Parental notification for abortions ensures that parents, who love and know their kids best, are made aware of abuse by being informed of their daughters’ pregnancies. Unfortunately, the abortion industry does not view this issue for what it is. Instead, they are blinded by their attachment to abortion that they see a customer and not a multidimensional woman who has complex needs and is grappling with complicated issues.
We can fight back and forth about Parental Notification laws, or we can listen to survivors of sex trafficking and abuse and hear what they needed most when they became pregnant. Brooke Bello spoke to an Illinois coalition that supports maintaining Parental Notification, Parents for the Protection of Girls, which Students for Life of America is a part of. Brooke implores Illinois law makers to maintain Parental Notification to protect young women from abuse and life-long medical issues and trauma. Brooke recounted her experience of sex trafficking and how parental notification could have helped her.
“I was raped at 11 years old. I started being trafficked as a young teen. Our traffickers made us get abortions. Had my parent been notified…my mother would have known what city I was in. She would have known what street I possibly would have been near. She could have contacted law enforcement and then the mitigation of the issues I suffered my entire life.”
She continued, “I plead Illinois to not reverse and please notify parents, I think every state should notify parents.”
Ms. Bello is a sex trafficking survivor. She has experienced abuse. She has been forced into abortions because she became pregnant by her abusers. Her voice needs to be heard. Her agonizing years of abuse could have been ended sooner if her mother were notified of her abortions. Her mother would have known where she was, and authorities could have tracked her down. The solution for her tragic circumstances was not abortion – it was parental involvement. Brooke is an amazingly strong woman who fights hard to stand up for abused women and she supports parental notification. We need to listen.
The message of listening and intervening on the part of abused women is echoed by another activist against sex trafficking, Renee Pollino. Ms. Pollino owns a coffee shop in Wheaton, Illinois called My Half of the Sky. Her coffee shop is devoted to fighting societal injustices – especially human trafficking and sexual abuses. At a recent event opposed to recent Illinois legislative efforts to Repeal Parental Notification, HB1797, hosted at My Half of the Sky, Ms. Pollino explained the importance of this law for sex trafficked girls. Pollino spoke from her experience with sex trafficking survivors whom she has worked with.
“The way trafficking looks in America, [older men] become the boyfriend…A lot of times we think they’re stolen, or they’re taken. The reality is that these girls are groomed and manipulated. We have young girls being manipulated and coerced by traffickers who claim to be their boyfriend, who love on them, shower them emotionally, coerce them, and control them. There are usually no chains or being hidden in dark rooms. These are girls who are emotionally coerced and controlled. The average age of a girl who’s trafficked in the United States is 13, which emphasizes that these really are girls who need their parents. There hasn’t been one woman who’s worked for me or that I’ve been friends with who is a survivor who hasn’t had numerous abortions as a minor.”
Pollino argues that using abortion to cover up their sexual crimes should not be ‘easy for them.’ “This law [Parental Notification] is really important because it is essential to have some accountability so that traffickers do not continue to further exploit and abuse young girls,” she noted.
She characterized Parental Notification laws as “incredible laws that protect citizens – especially the vulnerable young girls who are trafficked and exploited.” Both Brooke Bello and Renee Pollino put young women first. They think that these laws are essential for the protection of girls. Our state legislators need to listen to these young women and need to stand up for them.
Join our fight in Illinois by respectfully imploring legislators to protect young women by maintaining Parental Notification.