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: 1367126

Reported Deaths: 24801
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook54734510147
DuPage908351288
Will75828993
Lake67459991
Kane58579778
Winnebago33393477
Madison30589520
McHenry28705288
St. Clair27915514
Peoria23202317
Champaign20710145
Sangamon18831234
McLean18236181
Tazewell16999291
Rock Island15041318
Kankakee14232210
Kendall1310594
LaSalle12589244
Macon10784200
DeKalb9912119
Vermilion9702132
Adams8476123
Williamson7446130
Whiteside7166172
Boone672074
Ogle612081
Grundy590176
Clinton576590
Coles569196
Knox5573150
Jackson503364
Henry501167
Livingston483385
Stephenson477183
Woodford476277
Effingham472972
Macoupin471583
Marion4472115
Franklin446375
Monroe435793
Jefferson4304120
Lee417453
Randolph413484
Fulton395557
Morgan390282
Logan389159
Montgomery373474
Bureau372782
Christian368673
Perry317960
Fayette317855
Iroquois302966
McDonough286747
Jersey269350
Douglas259035
Saline256654
Lawrence240625
Shelby229937
Union226240
Crawford212326
Bond205524
Cass199525
Jo Daviess181924
Clark180633
Warren180246
Pike179352
Ford179147
Wayne178053
Hancock176231
Carroll175636
Richland175240
Edgar170840
White169826
Washington164425
Moultrie161128
De Witt151725
Mason151645
Piatt150014
Clay148143
Mercer147533
Johnson144615
Greene144033
Massac134640
Wabash134612
Cumberland129019
Menard123712
Jasper115118
Marshall107418
Hamilton83615
Schuyler7607
Brown7106
Pulaski6867
Stark63824
Edwards56912
Henderson52414
Calhoun5182
Putnam4833
Scott4791
Alexander46811
Gallatin4604
Hardin38612
Pope3224
Out of IL20
Unassigned02356

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

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

Cases: 735999

Reported Deaths: 13486
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1007151752
Lake54249977
Allen40946680
St. Joseph36335553
Hamilton35829408
Elkhart28844443
Tippecanoe22475219
Vanderburgh22367397
Porter18946311
Johnson18067381
Hendricks17317315
Clark13036192
Madison12762339
Vigo12501249
LaPorte12086215
Monroe11957172
Delaware10755187
Howard10001218
Kosciusko9466117
Hancock8373142
Bartholomew8098156
Warrick7799155
Floyd7690178
Grant7098174
Wayne7072199
Boone6745101
Morgan6611140
Dubois6166117
Marshall6111112
Cass5876105
Dearborn583178
Henry5785105
Noble565984
Jackson503773
Shelby494396
Lawrence4602120
Gibson437192
Harrison436672
DeKalb430585
Clinton428453
Montgomery425889
Whitley398739
Huntington394480
Steuben391057
Miami383968
Knox372890
Jasper372649
Putnam363760
Wabash355380
Adams342755
Ripley340770
Jefferson331881
White317754
Daviess298399
Wells292081
Decatur285992
Fayette282162
Greene280585
Posey272034
LaGrange268970
Scott267554
Clay261347
Washington242132
Randolph242081
Spencer232931
Jennings230949
Starke219354
Fountain213946
Sullivan212242
Owen203356
Jay197830
Fulton196040
Carroll190420
Orange184754
Perry184637
Rush174025
Vermillion170044
Franklin168535
Tipton163445
Parke146716
Pike135634
Blackford135132
Pulaski117445
Newton108934
Brown102641
Crawford101415
Benton99014
Martin89515
Warren82615
Switzerland7948
Union71410
Ohio57111
Unassigned0417