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Illinois Lawmakers Repeal Abortion Safeguards To Build ‘A Firewall Around’ Abortion Access

Illinois lawmakers instated a progressive abortion law Wednesday that repeals a variety of restrictive abortion legislation.

Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Reproductive Health Act into law Wednesday. The bill goes into effect immediately and repeals Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, according to CNN.

The new legislation establishes, among a variety of other additions, a woman’s “fundamental right” to abortion, allows non-doctors to perform abortions, abolishes Illinois’ parental notification law, forces religious and private health care organizations to provide abortions, and eliminates required investigations into the death of the mother.

The law also eliminates requirements to publicly report abortion data, including “the number of abortions performed on out-of-state women or underage girls” according to a press release from the Susan B. Anthony List.

The previous abortion laws included restraints such as waiting periods, spousal consent for abortions, criminalizing doctors for performing abortions, waiting periods, and facility restrictions.

The bill is intended to build “a firewall around Illinois to protect access” to abortion, says Democratic Illinois Rep. Kelly Cassidy according to The Chicago Sun Times.

“If you believe in standing up for women’s fundamental rights, Illinois is a beacon of hope in the heart of this nation,” Pritzker said Wednesday before signing the bill. “Today Illinois is making history once again,” Pritzker added. “We proudly proclaim that we trust women.”

Brigid Leahy, senior director for public policy for Planned Parenthood of Illinois, said that the Midwest has failed to pass legislation securing abortion rights.

“The closest thing is that Kansas, just in the last couple of months, the Supreme Court made a ruling that abortion is protected under the state constitution,” Leahy said according to the Chicago Sun Times.

But pro-life advocates stress that the law strips mothers and unborn babies of previously instated protections.

“While a growing number of states are working to advance popular pro-life laws, Illinois is trying to outdo New York’s abortion extremism – and unborn children and their mothers will pay the price,” said Susan B. Anthony List National Campaign Chair and Illinois native Jill Stanek according to a Susan B. Anthony press release.

Stanek is also a former nurse who witnessed abortions of born alive babies. Stanek said that the bill is so radical that it repealed partial-birth abortion bans.

“There is no pride or glory in being the most extreme pro-abortion state in the nation,” Stanek added.

Former Illinois representative and Thomas More Society Vice President Peter Breen also said that the law is “easily the most expansive abortion law in the United States.”

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