Jan 12, 2023 - News

Illinois protects reproductive rights

Photo of protesters with signs marching in street.

Gov. JB Pritzker joins protesters during an abortion rights march on June 24, 2022. Photo: Natasha Moustache/Getty Images

Illinois lawmakers passed new protections for patients and providers of reproductive and gender-affirming care with a bill headed to Gov. JB Pritzker's desk.

Why it matters: The protections represent a fulfillment of Pritzker's promise last year to strengthen statewide abortion rights after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

  • Once the new provisions are signed into law, the state will be one of the most protective of abortion rights in the nation.

Between the lines: The provisions are about "ensuring that Illinois will continue to serve the thousands of people traveling to our state every month to receive abortions and other reproductive and gender-affirming health care, which they can no longer access in their home states," Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat and lead sponsor of the bill, said in a statement.

  • In a statement, CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action Jennifer Welch called the measure "a crucial piece of legislation" in keeping the state "a safe haven in the Midwest."

Zoom in: The legislation protects Illinois providers from out-of-state action intended to prosecute them for assisting and providing abortion or gender-affirming care that's legal in Illinois. It also:

  • Shields patients from insurers that try to charge higher out-of-pocket costs if patients seek out-of-network care because their provider objects under the Health Care Right of Conscience Act.
  • Gives birthing centers the right to provide reproductive care.
  • Allows advanced-practice registered nurses and physicians’ assistants to perform abortions within the scope of their practice.

What they're saying: "In Illinois, we trust women, and we will protect their right to make their own decisions about their health care and their bodies," Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) said in a statement after the bill passed the Senate.

The other side: "We have found ourselves at the point that any new pro-abortion law is no longer about protecting the right to get an abortion, but to come up with new and extreme ways to promote getting an abortion." Republican state Sen. Sally Turner said in a statement.


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