Democrats advance bill to expand Illinois abortion rights

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In this Thursday, May 23, 2019, photo, Nancy St Germain, 71, right, of Warwick, R.I., leans forward to show her sign to a driver leaving a fundraiser for the Rhode Island Senate Democrats political action committee in Providence, R.I. Her sign reads, “This fight isn’t over.” Protesters gathered at the fundraiser to pressure legislative leaders […]

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — House Democrats in Illinois have advanced a measure to replace the state’s abortion law with less restrictive language that gives people “a fundamental right” to make decisions about their reproductive health.

The State Journal-Register reports a House committee approved the legislation late Sunday on a party-line vote, sending it to the House floor. All committee Republicans voted no.

Among other provisions, the bill requires private health insurance companies that cover pregnancy-related benefits to cover abortion.

Supporters say the measure is necessary to counter other states’ action to restrict abortion procedures and the appointment of U.S. Supreme Court justices who oppose abortion.

Republicans criticized Democrats, who control the Legislature and the governor’s office, for holding the hearing on the Sunday night of a holiday weekend and posting notice just one hour before the hearing.

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