CHICAGO (WMBD) — In the wake of Indiana’s landmark decision to pass a bill to ban abortion, Democrats and abortion rights groups are speaking out.

Under the Indiana bill, which has been passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate, abortions would only be permitted in cases of rape and incest, before 10-weeks post-fertilization; to protect the life and physical health of the mother; or if a fetus is diagnosed with a lethal anomaly.

President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action Jennifer Welch released this statement in response.

We are outraged that the Indiana General Assembly has banned most abortions, denying Indiana residents access to essential health care. This dangerous ban is another devastating blow for the Midwest, which is quickly becoming a vast desert for abortion care. Now people in Indiana are forced to either travel to a state like Illinois for care, seek an alternative means of ending their pregnancy or remain pregnant against their will. 

I want to be clear, abortion is still safe and legal in Illinois and will remain that way. Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) has been preparing for the overturning of Roe and subsequent state bans for years and has taken active steps to meet increasing demand. PPIL opened a new health center in Flossmoor, near the Indiana border, in 2018, in anticipation that our neighbors would likely lose abortion access after the fall of Roe. The Flossmoor health center has already seen its out-of-state abortion patients triple in the weeks following the SCOTUS ruling in June.

This is clear evidence that abortion restrictions and bans do not stop people from having abortions; restrictions and bans only make it harder for people to access safe reproductive health care where they live. While Indiana used its special session to take away a person’s right to abortion care, in Illinois we look forward to further protecting and expanding abortion access in order to meet this rising patient surge so people can access the abortion care they need and deserve, no matter who they are or where they live.”

Jennifer Welch, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action