As Illinois lawmakers consider abortion legislation one lobbyist called “more extreme than New York’s,” pro-life advocates will be in Springfield Wednesday, March 20, to visit representatives and speak out against the proposed bills.
Ralph Rivera, legislative chairman of Illinois Right to Life Action, warned House Bill 2495 and Senate Bill 1942, known as “The Reproductive Health Act,” is the “most extreme law, more extreme than New York’s.” New York lawmakers made national news in February when they approved a measure that allows termination through all nine months of pregnancy.
Peter Breen is senior counsel for Thomas More Society, a not-for-profit law firm headquartered in Chicago, and also a former Illinois State Representative. Of the Illinois legislation, Breen said, “The barbaric procedures promoted by this legislation are nothing short of infanticide. These bills go well beyond the recent New York law and would turn Illinois into a third-trimester abortion destination and an underage abortion haven.”
According to the Thomas More Society, HB 2495 and SB 1942 would:
– Allow abortions for any reason through all nine months of pregnancy
– Eliminate restrictions on where abortions are performed, and allow non-physicians to perform abortions
– Threaten not only institutional, but also individual rights of conscience
– Mandate all private health insurance plans cover abortions without any restrictions
– Eliminate the requirement to investigate fetal deaths or maternal deaths resulting from an abortion
-Impose no restrictions on fetal experimentation
In addition, current law requires a second doctor to be present to provide immediate medical care “for any child born alive as a result of a post-viability abortion.” The bill eliminates the requirement.
HB 2495 has been assigned to the Informed Consent Sub-Committee and SB 1942 is waiting to be heard by the Senate Executive Committee.
A companion bill, HB 2467 (Senate Bill 1594), 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. The Society reported the Act “has been responsible for a reduction of more than 55% in abortions among Illinois minors since 2012.”
SB 1594 was heard by the Public Health Committee March 20 and passed through the committee by a party line vote of 8-4.
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order Jan. 22 to enforce a law directing state employee health insurance plans to include abortion services. “On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I’m proud to declare under my administration, the State of Illinois will be the most progressive state in the nation when it comes to guaranteeing the right to choose for every single woman,” said Pritzker, who often stated his support for abortion rights during his campaign for governor.
The majority in both houses supports broader abortion laws and the governor has indicated he would sign both pending bills if passed.
The Illinois Family Institute and other pro-life groups will host a March 20 Pro-Life Rally and Lobby Day in Springfield. The rally is 1:30-2:30 p.m. outside the Capitol, and attendees are encouraged to visit their Representatives (in the Stratton Office Building) and Senators (in the Capitol) to share their opinions on the Reproductive Health Act and related bills before and after the rally.
– Reporting from the Thomas More Society, Illinois Family Institute