By State Rep. Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) -
A controversial measure severely restricting counseling options for children passed the Illinois House Tuesday and is now headed for the Senate. There are several reasons why I voted “No”:
1. Despite HB217’s sponsors being staunch proponents of “the right to choose,” this bill would outlaw certain mental health care choices.
At a small rally at the capitol earlier this year, I heard a fellow legislator declare that HB 217 was an issue of choice -- about letting young people decide what’s best for them. But this bill takes away the right of a minor to seek the type of counseling he or she wants or needs.
Most of the bill’s sponsors believe in a minor’s right to make reproductive health decisions on his or her own. To be consistent, shouldn’t these same minors also be able to make mental, physical, and emotional counseling decisions on their own?