CHICAGO — Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Reproductive Health Act into law on Wednesday, strengthening people’s access to abortions, among other things.
The bill, SB0025, ensures that everyone in the state of Illinois has a fundamental right to make autonomous decisions about one’s own reproductive health. It also ensures that anyone who becomes pregnant has the fundamental right to continue the pregnancy and give birth, or to have an abortion.
The controversial bill repeals both the state’s Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act and the Illinois Abortion Act of 1975, removing restrictions on the procedure later in pregnancy, as well as expanding insurance coverage for abortions and other related medical benefits.
“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,” said Pritzker. “Illinois is demonstrating what it means to affirm the rights of individuals to make the most personal and fundamental decisions of their lives, no matter your income level, race, ethnicity or religion. When it comes to contraception, abortion, and reproductive care, this law puts the decision-making where it belongs: in the hands of women and their doctors.
“The Reproductive Health Act ensures that women’s rights in Illinois do not hinge on the fate of Roe v. Wade, or the whims of an increasingly conservative Supreme Court,” the governor said. “In this state, women will always have the right to reproductive health care.”
Amid a wave of legislation restricting a woman’s right to choose, Illinois is now the only state in the nation to enact legislation that establishes a fundamental right to reproductive healthcare, Pritzker said.
“We are in for the fight of our lives, for our patients’ lives,” said Jennifer Welch, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois. “By signing the Reproductive Health Act into law today, Gov. Pritzker has solidified his commitment to guaranteeing patients at Planned Parenthood, and other health care providers across the state, have the fundamental right to the full range of reproductive health care. At Planned Parenthood, we’re committing to ensuring that right is accessible, no matter what.”
The law takes effect immediately.