Springfield, IL — Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield in Illinois issued the following statement in response to Governor J.B. Pritzker signing legislation into law that repeals the Parental Notice of Abortion Act.
“Governor Pritzker’s signing of HB 370, the deceptively titled Illinois Youth Health and Safety Act, which repeals the Parental Notice of Abortion Act, marks a dark and disgraceful moment in the history of the State of Illinois. Those legislators who promoted and voted in support of this legislation, and the Governor who signed this unjust law, have granted a five-part victory to evil in our state.
“First, our government has granted a free pass to sex traffickers. Those who enslave young women and girls throughout our state can now even more easily than ever before cover up their crimes with impunity. Those in law enforcement and social service who fight so hard to combat this evil as well as those young women and girls who are enslaved by evil forces in this industry have been dealt a demoralizing blow by our government.
“Second, our government has violated God’s will in stripping the authority and responsibility entrusted to parents. This legislative action violates the most fundamental rights and duties entrusted by God to parents to ensure the health and safety of their children. This is a right and responsibility that God grants, and which no government can take away. In attempting to do so, this legislation acts directly against God’s will, which is the very definition of evil.
“Third, our government has imperiled the children whom God has entrusted to their governance. The government rightly exercises its authority by establishing laws that protect minors from making life-altering decisions that they are not equipped to make, establishing laws that prohibit children from tanning, buying lottery tickets, buying cigarettes, and purchasing alcohol and tobacco. Minors cannot get body piercings without parental consent, nor can they undergo every other invasive medical procedure without parental consent. Removing the requirement for parental notification, our government has knowingly put our children in mortal danger and physical danger.
“Fourth, and most grievous, our government has promoted and facilitated murder. Pope Francis has rightly called abortion murder and ‘hiring a hit man to solve a problem.’ This most heinous offense against God and neighbor is now made more easily accessible to minor children than tattoos or getting their ears pierced.
“Fifth, the government has provided evil the cover of darkness in which it thrives. The devil desires darkness and despises the light. It is striking how much this legislation does to provide cover, secrecy, and darkness over evil deeds.
“But the Light will come and judge the deeds of men. We pray this day for a conversion of heart and a renewal of mind among those in authority who perpetrated this evil on our people. We pray solemnly this day also for the protection of the many children and families imperiled by this unjust law.”