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Illinois House passes Reproductive Health Act

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois House voted 64-50 to pass the Reproductive Health Act on Tuesday. 

The bill, SB0025, would ensure that everyone in the state of Illinois has a fundamental right to make autonomous decisions about one’s own reproductive health. It would also ensure that anyone who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to continue the pregnancy and give birth, or to have an abortion. 

The Reproductive Health Act would repeal both the state’s Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act and the Illinois Abortion Act of 1975, removing restrictions on the procedure later in pregnancy, as well as expanding insurance coverage for abortions and other related medical benefits. 

“House members made clear that Roe v. Wade and its protections for reproductive freedom — is under threat today as never before – with more than 20 cases in the federal court pipeline aimed at crippling or reversing Roe,” Colleen Connell, Executive Director of the ACLU of Illinois said. “The RHA responds to this threat by recognizing reproductive health care as a fundamental right, and by removing outdated, long-blocked statutes that make many forms of abortion care and contraceptives a crime.”

SB0025 now heads to the Illinois Senate. If passed, it will then head to Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s desk to sign into law. 

Pritzker said he will sign the bill into law if the Senate votes in favor of it passing. 

“With reproductive healthcare under attack across the country, we must do everything in our power to protect women’s rights in Illinois. I thank the chief sponsor, Rep. Kelly Cassidy [D-Chicago] for her steadfast resolve in advocating for women across the state and country by carrying this bill,” Pritzker said. “Today was a major step forward for every woman in this state and I look forward continuing my work as an ally by signing the Reproductive Healthcare Act into law.”

A House committee approved the legislation late Sunday on a party-line vote, sending it to the House floor on Tuesday. 

Six Democrats and every Republican in the Illinois House voted no on Tuesday, including Representative Andrew Chesney.

“This proposal diminishes the quality of healthcare for women and extends far beyond our sense of common decency as a society,” said Chesney (R-Freeport).  “At a time when it is critical for legislators to be addressing funding for our schools, attracting jobs to Illinois and keeping our kids and grand-kids in Illinois, we are forced to have to defend the very sanctity of Life itself.”

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