After thousands of pro-life advocates protested legislation that would expand abortion in Illinois, the bill, SB 1942, failed to pass out of the Senate Executive Committee before the deadline and was reassigned to the Senate Assignments Committee. Its companion bill, HB 2495, was returned to the House Rules Committee.
The legislation, known as The Reproductive Health Act, would legalize abortion in Illinois through all nine months of pregnancy.
Another bill–SB 1594–was reassigned to the Senate Assignments Committee after previously being on the calendar for a second reading. SB 1594 and its companion bill, HB 2467, would repeal the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995, which currently requires doctors to notify an adult family member of a patient under 18 prior to an abortion.
Other bills to watch:
SB 1778 | Makes clergy mandated reporters
Sponsored by Sen. Julie A. Morrison (D-Deerfield), the bill would amend the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act, removing the former list of mandated reporters and replacing it with a wider list of categories including clergy. Bob Vanden Bosch, executive director of Concerned Christian Ministries, said, “This legislation limits the ministry of pastors and churches. Families who are turned in to DCFS [Department of Children and Family Services] will not be likely to respond by coming back to the church.”
Status: Passed by Senate, sent to House
HB 38 | Enhances criminal penalties on violence in places of worship
Sponsored by Rep. Rita Mayfield (D-Waukegan), the bill would amend the 2012 Criminal Code to strengthen penalties against people committing acts of violence during a worship service. The bill is receiving bipartisan support. “It should pass the House with a unanimous vote,” Vanden Bosch said. “It passed the Senate unanimously last year and is expected to have a favorable vote [again] in the Senate as well.”
Status: House passed unanimously, sent to Senate
Pritzker announcement | Medicaid to cover sex changes
On April 5, Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced the state’s Medicaid system will begin providing coverage for gender reassignment surgery for patients 21 and older diagnosed with gender dysphoria (defined by the American Psychiatric Association as “a conflict between a person’s physical or assigned gender and the gender with which he/she/they identify”).
According to Illinois News Network, about 1,400 of the state’s 3.1 million Medicaid members have been diagnosed with gender dysphoria. Coverage for gender reassignment surgery may be available as soon as this summer after a public comment period.
Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Effingham) said this month he will introduce legislation to stop Pritzker’s mandate from proceeding.
–With reporting from Illinois News Network