Seventeen states have no laws requiring parental notification before a minor daughter aborts. I live in one of them, Illinois.

Here is one example how unobstructed minor “choice” translates. The incident occurred less than a week ago.

Jack* arrived home the morning of March 17 after working the midnight shift in time to see his two stepchildren off to school. His wife, Shane*, had already left for her job as a school bus driver. But 14-year-old Nicole* was nowhere to be found.

Jack was promptly worried. Nicole had recently told her family she was pregnant by 16-year-old boyfriend Mark*, and the two sets of grandparents had begun battling over whether the baby should live or die.

Nicole’s family is pro-life. “I was raised Baptist,” Shane told me. “Abortion is a sin; you just don’t do it. I’m also adopted.”

But Mark’s side wanted Nicole to abort. During a run-in between the families, Mark sobbed that the baby would ruin his future. Mark’s mother said she had aborted five times and would do it again. Mark’s father said it was Nicole’s “choice.”

After Mark’s mother suggested to Nicole, “You probably hate that baby inside you, don’t you?” Shane forbade Nicole any contact with Mark or his parents and warned them not to come near her.

Shane notified Nicole’s school that she was a runaway risk and not to let her to leave with anyone but her parents.

On March 15, Shane took Nicole to New Beginnings Pregnancy Care Center in Granite City, Ill. Shane saw her baby’s heartbeat on ultrasound and decided the baby must be a boy. She named him Bradley and resolved to let him live.

Nicole and Mark attended different high schools, and Shane thought the two were successfully being kept apart. But she didn’t account for friends’ cell phones. She didn’t account for a puppy love so strong it would deaden her daughter’s conscience.

When Nicole went missing, Jack placed an emergency call to Shane.

Shane had a gut feeling she knew exactly where Nicole was. Hope Clinic, a mega abortuary in Granite City, was only 10 minutes away. Shane grabbed a girlfriend and raced over.

There is a security shack outside Hope Clinic. Shane clutched her stomach and told the guard she needed to see a counselor. She saw Nicole’s name on his clipboard and that she had arrived at 7:46 a.m. It was now 8:30 a.m.

The guard escorted Shane and her friend into the mill, where Shane demanded to speak to her daughter. The receptionist said Nicole was not there. Shane said she knew her daughter was in the building and that she wasn’t leaving until they talked.

“There was a waiting room to the side,” Shane told me. “While they were hollering for security, I said to my girlfriend, ‘Handle them,’ and I went in and looked around. There were girls stacked up in chairs and on the floor like cattle. They were all so young.”

Nicole wasn’t among them.

Shane went into the hallway and started yelling Nicole’s name and begging to see Nicole. Later, Nicole said she heard her mother and asked a staff member to let them speak. The staffer came downstairs and told Shane there was no patient named Nicole. She went back upstairs and told Nicole her mom had left.

When the Granite City police arrived, Shane sat on the floor and refused to leave.

So they dragged Shane out of the building and put her in the back of their squad car. “The entire time I pleaded with them for help. One officer told me to see my senator.”

Meanwhile, a sidewalk counselor called an attorney, who advised Shane to file a rape report. The officers released Shane, and she drove to the Wood River police station.

When they finally decided to investigate, it was too late. “By the time I got back to the clinic at 11:15 a.m., it was over and she was gone,” said Shane.

Nicole later said the clinic bumped her up to the first appointment of the day.

During her short recovery, Nicole vomited three times. The clinic sneaked Mark out the back door and released Nicole out the front door all by herself at 10:35 a.m. with a paper bag in case she vomited again.

Nicole’s school finally notified her parents at 2:22 p.m. that a “grandmother” had called that morning to say Nicole would not be in attendance all day.

Following the abortion, Nicole has complained of back pain and tender breasts. There was only a small amount of bleeding until Monday night, when she began discharging blood clots.

Meanwhile, because it’s spring break, Mark and his family have gone away on vacation.

* Asterisked names have been changed.

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