Springfield, Ill. - Legislation sponsored by State Representative Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, protecting a women's right to choose by striking the dangerous "trigger" language in the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 advanced out of committee today on a 7-to-5 vote along party lines. House Bill 40 will help ensure abortion remains safe and legal in Illinois regardless of potential federal efforts to overturn Roe v. Wade.
"By removing the anti-choice trigger language and updating the original 1975 act, the general assembly is making a strong affirmative statement that access to safe legal abortion will remain protected in Illinois," said Feigenholtz.
"After repeated threats from the White House and President Trump's remarks to strip abortion rights away from women, this legislation is necessary to safeguard a woman's right to make decisions that affect her personal health in Illinois," said Feigenholtz.
Feigenholtz has been a champion of women's health during her time in the General Assembly. The bill also removes discriminatory provisions from Illinois law that denies insurance coverage of an abortion to many women who depend on Medicaid and State Employee Health Insurance.
"It's clear our new president has little regard for women's rights and independence. We can no longer assume that our rights will be protected in Washington. We must act to safeguard those rights here at home, and HB40 does that," said Brigid Leahy, Director of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood of Illinois.
If passed, Illinois would join 15 other states that provide women with health assistance funds that cover the full range of pregnancy-related care including a woman's decision to end a pregnancy.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, call Daniel Egel-Weiss at 312-593-3235 or Chris McCloud at 217-502-4376.
House Committee Advances Measure to Protect Reproductive Health Care in Illinois
Statement of Lorie Chaiten, Director Women's and Reproductive Rights Project
From a Press Release
February 8, 2017
Earlier today, a measure removing a dangerous "trigger" provision in the Illinois abortion law and eliminating discriminatory provisions from Illinois law that deny insurance coverage of abortion to women who depend on Medicaid and State Employee Health Insurance cleared the Illinois House of Representatives Human Services Committee by a vote of 7 to 5. The legislation, sponsored by Representative Sara Feigenholtz, is now on its way to the full House for a vote.
The following can be attributed to Lorie Chaiten, Director of the ACLU of Illinois Women's and Reproductive Rights Project:
The Committee today took an important first step to insulate the women of Illinois against the risk posed by the reckless reproductive health policies of the Trump Administration. House Bill 40 is necessary to ensure that every woman in Illinois can make her own health care decisions and have access to safe medical care, regardless of what happens in Washington, D.C.
By removing both the "trigger" language and the discriminatory provisions that restrict Medicaid and State Employee Health Insurance from current Illinois law, House Bill 40 advances critical efforts to ensure that women's reproductive health care will be protected in Illinois. Every woman, regardless of whether she has private or government-funded health insurance, should have affordable and comprehensive health care coverage that includes coverage for abortion care, so she can make personal health decisions based on what is best for her and her family.
We thank Representative Sara Feigenholtz for her leadership, and we hope the House acts quickly to pass this bill and send it to the Senate.