Illinois governor signs law expanding access to abortion

The new Illinois law voids decades-old abortion regulations that were on the books but had never taken effect because of court orders

Posted: Jun 13, 2019 7:58 AM

CHICAGO (AP) — Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed sweeping abortion protections into law on Wednesday, establishing women’s access to the procedure as a “fundamental right” and putting Illinois at odds with Republican-led states that have been embracing steep abortion restrictions.

The new Illinois law voids decades-old abortion regulations that were on the books but had never taken effect because of court orders, including restrictions on late-term abortions and criminal penalties for doctors who perform abortions. It also requires insurance coverage for abortions, contraception and related medical care.

“In a time when too many states across the nation are taking a step backward, Illinois is taking a giant step forward for women’s health. In this state, we trust women,” the Democratic governor said at a bill signing ceremony in Chicago. He was surrounded by abortion-rights advocates from Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois.

Supporters said the plan, which took effect immediately, simply puts existing practice into law, which they argue has become more urgent because of the conservative shift on the U.S. Supreme Court and the prohibitions on abortion in other states that could lead to the overturning of the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion nationwide. They said they planned to continue pushing for expanded access, including attempting to remove a parental notification requirement. Vermont and Maine have recently approved abortion protections.

Republicans, who are in the minority in the Illinois Legislature, strongly objected to the measure, calling it an “extreme expansion.” Their concerns included an increase in late-term abortions.

“Illinois is now one of the most radical states for abortion access,” state Rep. Avery Bourne, a Raymond Republican, said in a statement.

The Thomas More Society, a Christian advocacy group based in Chicago, said the law will make Illinois an “abortion destination for the country.” The group said it will fight any efforts to outlaw parental notification.

More than half a dozen states have adopted steep restrictions on abortion, including a near-total ban signed into law in Alabama last month.

Louisiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi and Ohio have enacted laws prohibiting abortion once there’s a detectable fetal heartbeat, which could be as early as the sixth week of pregnancy. Missouri passed an eight-week ban, with few exceptions.

None of the bans has taken effect and all are expected to face legal challenges.

Overall, the number of abortions performed in the U.S. has declined, with historically low rates reported in 2014. Illinois has mirrored national trends. Approximately 39,000 abortions were performed in the state in 2017, the latest statistics available. A decade earlier, there were more than 45,000, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

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Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Cases: 1419611

Reported Deaths: 25873
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook56409110566
DuPage940071321
Will783281042
Lake693631028
Kane60205816
Winnebago34822524
Madison32649536
St. Clair30275527
McHenry29684299
Peoria23771347
Champaign21705159
Sangamon19759246
McLean18931194
Tazewell17551309
Rock Island15422329
Kankakee14768224
Kendall13537100
LaSalle12987254
Macon11214215
DeKalb10305122
Vermilion10297154
Adams9751129
Williamson8266138
Whiteside7256174
Boone696580
Ogle630584
Grundy607479
Clinton594293
Coles5887101
Knox5743157
Jackson551265
Henry517170
Macoupin501090
Livingston495194
Woodford493783
Franklin492879
Stephenson489886
Effingham483974
Marion4836118
Jefferson4703123
Monroe453594
Randolph433987
Lee424354
Morgan415693
Fulton412159
Logan410066
Christian397575
Bureau386687
Montgomery386674
Iroquois331068
Perry330262
Fayette327456
McDonough308551
Jersey280252
Saline274057
Douglas265436
Union251842
Lawrence245527
Shelby237438
Crawford221126
Bond213924
Cass211527
Carroll205437
Pike203253
Ford195450
Hancock194932
Wayne192053
Clark191334
Warren186850
Jo Daviess184024
White183326
Richland182840
Edgar180942
Washington170125
Moultrie168728
Mason164847
De Witt161529
Piatt156914
Johnson156716
Clay156343
Greene155734
Mercer152534
Wabash150612
Massac146141
Cumberland131420
Menard128712
Jasper117018
Marshall111419
Hamilton91716
Schuyler8187
Brown8136
Pulaski7497
Stark66925
Edwards64212
Calhoun5442
Henderson53414
Scott5181
Gallatin5144
Alexander49511
Putnam4953
Hardin39712
Pope3464
Unassigned512432
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Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Cases: 771299

Reported Deaths: 14005
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1059471808
Lake570611031
Allen43193700
Hamilton37458426
St. Joseph37420568
Elkhart29819471
Tippecanoe23584231
Vanderburgh23431405
Porter19616327
Johnson18899394
Hendricks18168323
Clark13623199
Madison13604348
Vigo12908256
Monroe12626178
LaPorte12594225
Delaware11183198
Howard10747237
Kosciusko9810124
Hancock8799150
Bartholomew8296157
Warrick8150157
Floyd8072183
Grant7397181
Wayne7254201
Boone7236105
Morgan6948143
Marshall6358117
Dubois6301118
Cass6110112
Dearborn604078
Noble603590
Henry5971111
Jackson518677
Shelby512898
Lawrence4961127
Gibson467296
Montgomery461392
Clinton458455
DeKalb458485
Harrison456977
Huntington421382
Whitley418645
Steuben412861
Miami407273
Jasper402556
Knox393191
Putnam386862
Wabash371684
Adams355356
Ripley352771
Jefferson347187
White340954
Daviess3098100
Wells304881
Greene295985
Decatur293493
Fayette287464
Posey285435
Scott283458
LaGrange278472
Clay276049
Washington255637
Randolph248283
Jennings240449
Spencer239731
Fountain237250
Starke230859
Owen224759
Sullivan222943
Fulton209545
Jay203432
Carroll198822
Orange192756
Perry191939
Vermillion181944
Rush178627
Tipton173848
Franklin173035
Parke156816
Pike143434
Blackford138232
Pulaski124048
Newton123736
Benton110515
Brown106443
Crawford106316
Martin92715
Warren88015
Switzerland8488
Union73710
Ohio58411
Unassigned0429