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IL Democrats advance bill to expand abortion rights, all committee Republicans vote ‘no’

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — House Democrats in Illinois have advanced a measure to replace the state’s abortion law with less restrictive language that gives people “a fundamental right” to make decisions about their reproductive health.

The State Journal-Register reports a House committee approved the legislation late Sunday on a party-line vote, sending it to the House floor. All committee Republicans voted no.

The Reproductive Health Act would repeal Illinois’ Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act and the Illinois Abortion Act of 1975, which would remove restrictions on spousal consent, waiting periods, criminal penalties for doctors who perform abortions, and expand insurance coverages for abortions and contraception.

Supporters say the measure is necessary to counter other states’ action to restrict abortion procedures and the appointment of U.S. Supreme Court justices who oppose abortion.

Republicans criticized Democrats, who control the Legislature and the governor’s office, for holding the hearing on the Sunday night of a holiday weekend and posting notice just one hour before the hearing.

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