CHICAGO - Today, June 12, 2019, Governor Pritzker signed into law the Reproductive Health Act ( RHA ), establishing reproductive health care as a fundamental right in Illinois.
"We are in for the fight of our lives, for our patients' lives," said Planned Parenthood of Illinois President and CEO, Jennifer Welch. "By signing the Reproductive Health Act into law today, Governor 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. Thank you, Governor Pritzker, for living up to your promise of making Illinois the 'most progressive state for reproductive rights in the country'."
The RHA repeals the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 and establishes the fundamental right to make individual decisions about reproductive health care, including contraception, abortion, and maternity care. This includes birthing decisions like whether to have an induction, epidural anesthesia, or cesarean surgery. The RHA also requires private health insurance plans in Illinois to cover abortion like they do other pregnancy related care.
"It is appalling in 2019 that anti-abortion advocates are still trying to shame women about their reproductive health care; we see it at some of our health centers every day," Welch explained. "Whether it's access to abortion or contraception, we've seen opposition to common-sense legislation that keeps women in control of their own health and lives."
2019 State Abortion Restriction Snapshot, released by the Guttmacher Institute and Planned Parenthood Federation of America, shows proposed six-week abortion bans like the ban signed by Mississippi's governor last week have increased by an alarming 63 percent compared to last year. Right now, over 250 bills restricting abortion have been filed in the majority of state legislatures and dangerous new bills are being filed every day.
"By signing the RHA," summarized Welch, "Illinois is sending a very clear message — a woman, not politicians, should make decisions when it comes to her own pregnancy."
—From a press release
Planned Parenthood of Illinois ( PPIL ) provides affordably priced high-quality reproductive health care services to women, teens and men throughout Illinois. Through health care services, educational programs and advocacy efforts, PPIL works to ensure and protect the reproductive health and rights of each individual. For more information, visit www.ppil.org .