Illinois is considering its most radical abortion bills yet. If passed, pro-life advocates say they could turn the state into the abortion haven of the Midwest, and maybe even "the abortion capital of America."
The Reproductive Health Act (HB 2495 and SB 1942) enshrines abortion as a "fundamental right" and provides that a "fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the law."
The bills would do the following:
- Repeal a 1975 law that includes criminal penalties for doctors who perform abortions.
- Legalize abortions up until the moment of birth.
- Eliminate all restrictions on where abortions are performed.
- Require all private health insurance policies to cover abortion (even churches and other religious organizations).
- Eliminate any restrictions on where abortions can be performed.
The law also allows non-physicians to perform surgical and medical abortions. It repeals laws that allow husbands to block their wives from aborting their child, eliminates requirements to investigate fetal or maternal deaths resulting from abortion, and allows minors to receive abortions without ever having to notify their parents.
"It's pushing back against a deliberate strategy of the anti-abortion movement of stigmatizing and siloing women's reproductive health care, and these bills are saying we need to treat reproductive health care like any other health care," she said.
Constitutional law expert Paul Benjamin Linton calls the bills "the most radical piece of abortion legislation that has ever been introduced in Illinois, and…the most radical proposed in any state to date."
"The Democratic supermajority's proposals now pending in the Illinois General Assembly are the most pro-abortion legislative measures of their type in the country," said Peter Breen, vice president and senior counsel for the Thomas More Society, and former Illinois House minority floor leader. "The barbaric procedures promoted by this legislation are nothing short of infanticide."
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"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," he continued. "Gov. J.B. Pritzker promised that his Illinois Democrats would turn the state into the most 'progressive' in the country on abortion, and these bills deliver on that violent promise: Pritzker and his Democratic supermajorities would convert the 'Land of Lincoln' into the 'Abortion Capital of America.'"
The bills are pending in the 101st General Assembly.
The legislation comes on the heels of a recently passed Vermont bill that would legalize abortion at any stage of pregnancy for any reason.
Like Illinois, the Vermont bill goes beyond New York's late-term abortion by giving blanket permission for all abortion. New York only relegated late-term abortions to women and babies with health issues (although never explicitly defining what that means).
The legislation is headed to the Vermont Senate where Democrats have a supermajority.
"To the Left, abortion is no longer a last resort, an option to be prevented, a difficult and sad choice that some women feel forced to make. Abortion is now a fundamental right, a social good so worth preserving that it is necessary to explicitly dehumanize living human beings to justify it," she writes.