Illinois lawmakers react to abortion bans elsewhere in U.S.


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Some lawmakers are vowing to keep their promises of passing pro-choice bills.

They said they are gearing up to try to pass a bill giving a mother a right to choose to keep her pregnancy or terminate it.

Representative Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) said after seeing states pass bills restricting abortion, she wants Illinois to send a message to everyone about a woman’s right to choose.

“There are really coordinated attacks on access to reproductive healthcare. We want to make sure here in Illinois, those rights are protected regardless of what other states do or what the nation does,” Cassidy said.

A bill designed to give pregnant women the right to choose whether or not to give birth, dubbed the Reproductive Health Act, gained attention earlier in this session from opponents who say the bill is too radical.

“I’m all for reproduction but the Reproductive Health Act, it takes so-called abortion rights to an extreme in Illinois. It turns it into an abortion any time, any place, any manner,” said Tim Moore of Springfield 

Pro-life advocates fear the bill would allow people who are not trained to give abortions the right to do so. Cassidy said the bill is designed to make sure women have access to these procedures all around the state.

“This is making sure, particularly in areas with minimal access, that there is someone that is trained and knowledge who can provide this care,” Cassidy said.

Though lawmakers have a long to-do list before they leave, Cassidy believes now is the time to pass this bill.

“There are somewhere in the neighborhood of 20-cases in the pipeline that could make to the Supreme Court as early as this fall before our chamber reconvenes. There are cases in the 7th Circuit that could be decided in the coming weeks after we adjourn. It is critically important that we take care of this now.”

A big focal point for advocates is that the bill does not give an egg, embryo or fetus independent rights, meaning all rights to control the pregnancy belong to the woman. 

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