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

Cases: 1181144

Reported Deaths: 22607
CountyCasesDeaths
Cook4722069317
DuPage763981190
Will64655885
Lake59119918
Kane50439711
Winnebago28263436
Madison27835453
St. Clair25283463
McHenry24190263
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Macon9417185
Vermilion8528114
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Adams7994114
Williamson6778119
Boone591271
Whiteside5907147
Clinton556389
Coles517090
Grundy508462
Knox5013131
Ogle498773
Jackson459460
Effingham448569
Macoupin434079
Henry431956
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Livingston416475
Franklin413965
Stephenson407875
Monroe405183
Jefferson3969115
Randolph395778
Woodford365260
Morgan357976
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Logan330453
Christian329466
Bureau329173
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Perry303357
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Iroquois276660
Jersey248946
Douglas242632
McDonough231440
Lawrence228824
Saline228447
Union218436
Shelby213034
Crawford200321
Bond190224
Cass187822
Pike168750
Clark168029
Hancock166729
Wayne166748
Warren166443
Richland163438
Jo Daviess160522
White160125
Washington157823
Ford157045
Carroll156934
Edgar154037
Moultrie148722
Clay142641
Greene137631
Johnson134712
Piatt131814
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De Witt127722
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Mason127541
Massac125832
Cumberland118618
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Menard10348
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Schuyler6755
Pulaski6705
Brown6606
Stark53722
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Henderson49814
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Scott4481
Alexander4478
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Out of IL00
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Cases: 659127

Reported Deaths: 12494
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion903271628
Lake48239872
Allen35663632
Hamilton31929395
St. Joseph29721510
Elkhart25306412
Vanderburgh21173377
Tippecanoe19873199
Johnson16290355
Porter15896268
Hendricks15765300
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Delaware9815178
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Howard9030195
Kosciusko8529108
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Hancock7392128
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Floyd7172165
Wayne6616189
Grant6411157
Morgan6054124
Boone605388
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Henry540792
Marshall5406104
Cass539699
Noble508176
Jackson463664
Shelby459390
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Gibson401081
Harrison397061
Clinton393753
Montgomery384283
DeKalb384078
Knox355784
Miami355663
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Steuben337155
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Ripley325661
Adams321549
Jasper314243
White296151
Jefferson293370
Daviess284696
Fayette270856
Decatur269788
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Posey260131
Wells256574
Scott249649
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Clay239744
Randolph225276
Spencer216630
Jennings214144
Washington209327
Sullivan202639
Fountain200942
Starke186950
Owen181853
Fulton177737
Jay177328
Carroll176118
Perry173035
Orange170750
Rush164322
Vermillion159541
Franklin158835
Tipton145841
Parke138415
Pike127432
Blackford120327
Pulaski106444
Newton96431
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