SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (BP) — The Illinois House of Representatives and its Democratic majority on Tuesday (May 28) passed a bill that would reportedly strip all protections from unborn children, allowing for abortions up to the moment of birth. The so-called “Reproductive Health Act” also allows partial-birth abortions and removes protection for pro-life doctors and insurers who object to the practice.
“A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the laws of this state,” according to the bill, which passed in a 64-50 vote after an emotional floor debate. The legislation now heads to the Democratic-majority Senate and then to the desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat who has already said he looks forward to signing it into law.
“Today the Illinois House passed the most extreme expansion of abortion on demand in the entire country — more radical even than New York’s,” said Jill Stanek, national campaign chairwoman of the Susan B. Anthony List, a national pro-life group.
Rep. Avery Bourne, an expectant mother in her third trimester, led Republican opposition to the bill.
“This bill means 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 baby is perfectly healthy,” she said. “But if that woman says, ‘Based on my familial health, this is medically necessary,’ [abortion] is allowed.”