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Skirting the Law

How do underage girls get abortions without their parents’ consent?

With the help of this woman.

Lorie Chaiten, director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Rights Project Photo Credit: Chicago Tribune

Credit: Chicago Tribune

Meet Lorie Chaiten, director of the ACLU’s Reproductive Rights Project. This woman “helps” minors get a waiver from a judge that allows her to get an abortion without her parent’s knowledge or consent.

Recently, the Chicago Tribune wrote an article that described what the process was like for girls under 18 to get an abortion without their parents knowing about it. Under Illinois law, the parents of any minor seeking an abortion must be notified at least 48 hours before her abortion. However, with the help of those like Lorie, young females ARE getting abortions without their parents even knowing about it. A parent’s worst nightmare.

In these judicial bypass hearings, the judge must determine if the minor is “mature enough to make the decision without involving her parents? and “Is it in her best interests that a parent or family member not be told?”

These hearings put Judges in a sticky situation. Any logical person would ask themselves, “are you the best one to be making this call?”  For those Judges who were quoted in the article, it is clear that these decisions weigh heavily upon them. Their statements included: “it’s the most difficult case I’ve ever handled…” and “…I don’t take the cases lightly. They’re important. They’re serious. They affect this girl’s life, and they affect the fetus.”

For privacy reasons, it’s unclear just how many waivers are granted to young girls every day across the country. But, the bottom line is perfectly stated in this quote by a Judge, in the very same article:

“We’re not giving them the right to have an abortion. We are giving them the right to have an abortion without telling their parents…”

– Cook County Judge, Susan Fox Gillis

So why does this matter?

Allowing a minor to get an abortion without her parent’s knowledge presents a variety of problems. As a lawyer for American’s United For Life points in out an article, parental knowledge provides access to a better knowledge of the minor’s medical history and background. Any holes in this information  “the health of minors is put at serious risk.”

The article also mentions that parent’s who are unaware that their child has even had an abortion, will have a difficult time getting their child the proper medical care they need should any abortion complications occur after the minor has left the clinic.

Another major issue is that allowing minors to obtain abortions without their parent’s knowledge often allows them to be raped for years without detection.


In all 50 states, there are Mandatory Reporting Laws, which state that LEGALLY, a minor cannot consent to sex. Therefore, when an adult finds evidence of sexual activity, they are required to report it to the state’s designated agency to investigate whether the child is a victim of rape or sexual abuse. It is not for the person reporting to investigate. When a minor female seeks treatment or testing for STDs, pregnancy tests, abortions, or birth control- this is sufficient evidence for a mandatory report.

However, Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers have been caught failing to report the statutory rape of minors.

That’s right, the very organization that is suppose to “help women” is actually hurting young females by covering for the rapists.

In the groundbreaking two part Life Dynamics’ undercover investigation, it was revealed that even though many of these clinic workers openly acknowledged a sexual relationship between an adult and minor was illegal, and that they were required to report it to the state, the overwhelming majority would readily agree to conceal it.

In fact, during our phone calls we found that employees would:

  • Coach the caller on how to avoid detection & how to circumvent parental involvement laws.
  • Advise on what to say or not say when she came to the clinic.
  • Encouraged the caller to lie about – or conceal – her age or her boyfriend’s age or to give false names.
  • Interrupt our caller when she started talking about her age or the age of her boyfriend.
  • State she had already provided too much information for them to be able to help her, give the number of another family planning facility, and encourage the caller to tell a different story when she called there.

Here’s where it gets even more interesting.

During our calls to states with parental involvement legislation our caller was often informed about the option of a Judicial Bypass and instructed not to voluntarily tell the judge about the age of her boyfriend, or even encouraged her to lie to the judge if specifically asked for that information.

Additionally, clinic staff:

  • Recommended using a fictitious address when she checked-in for her abortion to circumvent parental notification laws.
  • Informed her on neighboring states that had no parental involvement requirements. Stating and that if she went there and either concealed or lied about the age issue, she would have no problem getting a secret abortion.
  • Suggested that she bring someone along to sign for her who looked old enough to impersonate one of her parents.

Wait, there’s more…

In his new book, Siege, author Mark Crutcher points out another hidden issue in these judicial bypass proceedings:

“In theory, these girls are to be represented by attorneys who act in their best interests in front of neutral judges. In reality, however, they are almost always represented by attorneys secured by, and associated with, the clinics where they went for their abortions… it is legitimate to question whether the attorney is representing the child or the clinic. This is crucial given that the girls and the clinics have substantially different motives for being involved in the process and will be dissimilarly affected by the outcome… since the abortion clinic has a financial interest in the court’s decision, it is reasonable to conclude that the implicit role of any attorney selected by that clinic is to insure that the abortion takes place…”

So while Planned Parenthood and people like Lorie Chaiten claim that they are looking out for the best interests of these young females, in reality all they really care about are abortion rights – and these girls are the victims.

This has had very real consequences for these girls, but don’t just take our word for it. Read actual cases where the laws designed to protect minors is ignored or skirted and it’s consequences for the victims of child sexual abuse.

Victims like “Bess”:

Bess's Story - One of many of the Actual Cases in the second part of the report

Bess’s Story is one of many of the cases featured in the second part of the report.

To learn more about the undercover investigation and  to see the evidence, visit:

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