The state of Illinois is looking to become the most progressive state in the country when it comes to abortion and removing restrictions on the procedure.
The Washington Examiner reports the Illinois state Senate passed the Reproductive Health Act 34 to 20, a bill which establishes a “fundamental right” for women to get abortions.
Democratic Rep. Kelly Cassidy first introduced the bill in the House where it then passed by a vote of 64 to 50. The Pro-Life Action League shared the vote on Facebook, calling it “a dark day in Illinois,” Live Action reports.
“Illinois is making history, because our state will now be the most progressive in the nation for reproductive healthcare. In Illinois, we trust women to make the most personal and fundamental decisions of their lives — and now, that will be the law of the land, even as it’s under threat in other states,” Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker said following the bill’s passage in the House.
The bill is now heading to the governor’s desk where he is expected to sign it into law.
Per the Washington Examiner:
The bill is a rebuke of recent stringent abortion restrictions passed in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia, and Missouri.
“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,” Cassidy said in Tuesday’s House chamber debates. “To the people in Missouri and Alabama and Georgia and Kentucky and Mississippi and Ohio, I say, not on my watch.”
The Illinois vote comes on the heels of several abortion bans, including the most restrictive all-out ban signed into law in Alabama, the six-week ban passed in the Louisiana State House, and a possible closure of Missouri’s last abortion clinic.
According to the report, in Illinois it is still legal to abort an unborn child when it is past the age of viability—or 23 weeks—and “provides some of the most expansive abortion rights measures in the country.”
Illinois Republican State Rep. Avery Bourne, who is 34-weeks pregnant, delivered a passionate speech opposing the bill just ahead of its passage, the Daily Caller reports.
“This bill will mean that if a baby requires extraordinary medical measures after they’re born, doctors could determine up to the 40th week of pregnancy that that baby was never viable,” Bourne said. “This bill means that if the baby is viable, a doctor can determine that the post-viable abortion can still take place based on a number of factors that include familial health and the age of the women.”
Bourne then broke into tears when discussing her own pregnancy and what she perceives as the bill’s disregard for human life.
“This bill will mean that, for a woman at my stage in pregnancy, where the baby responds to his dad’s voice as he reads him books at night, the woman could go to the facility – the baby is perfectly healthy – but if that woman says based on my familial health, this is medically necessary, that is allowed,” Bourne said.