As Conservative States Pass Sweeping Anti-Abortion Laws, IL Bolsters Women’s Rights

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: A coalition of NARAL Pro-Choice America, Planned Parenthood and Population Connection Action Fund hold the “Fight4Her” rally in front of the White at Lafayette Square on March 29, 2019 in Washington, DC. Only a small number of protesters gathered to demand the end of the 'Global Gag Rule'.(Photo by Astrid Riecken/Getty Images)
Astrid Riecken/Getty Images North America

The Illinois state House of Representatives passed legislation that would bolster reproductive health care in Illinois and codify the state’s current abortion laws.

By a 64-50 vote, the abortion rights measure cleared the Illinois House. The bill’s sponsors framed the legislation as a response to the implementation of recent extreme anti-abortion laws in conservative states across the country.

“To our neighbors in Illinois who hear the news around the country and worry that this war on women is coming to Illinois, I say, not on my watch,” Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-IL) said from the House floor on Tuesday. “To the people in Missouri and Alabama and Georgia and Kentucky and Mississippi and Ohio, I say, not on my watch.”

The bill would repeal Illinois’ current abortion law and replace it with legislation that removes language about spousal consent, waiting periods and punishment for doctors who perform abortions. The measure also clears up what it means for a fetus to be viable outside of the womb and classifies an abortion as a form of health care. House Republicans were most opposed to the language surrounding a viable fetus, arguing the  legislation would make it easier for women to get supposed late-term abortions.

The bill will move to state’s majority Democratic-controlled Senate soon and is expected to pass. The scheduled end of session is Friday.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker released a statement Tuesday saying he intended to sign the Reproductive Health Act into law if it passes the Senate.

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