MACOMB — Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday signed Senate Bill 25 into law — a law that greatly expands abortion rights in the state of Illinois. It becomes law immediately with his signing.
This expansion, according to Rep. Norine Hammond, R-Macomb, is a radical step by the Democratic Party.
“The governor’s signing of legislation expanding abortions in Illinois is tragic,” said Rep. Hammond. “This legislation represents a radical expansion of abortion in Illinois, on top of our state’s extremely-permissive abortion laws. The people of our communities strongly believe that the unborn deserve protection in law… I will continue to oppose these radical abortion laws and advocate for the unborn.”
SB 25 is more commonly referred to as the Reproductive Health Act. It eliminates legal protections for the unborn currently in statute. The new law states: “A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the laws of this State.” Those who become pregnant have a “fundamental right” to an abortion. This right also prohibits state interference with abortion. According to Hammond, this will likely make the parental notification statute for abortions on minors nullified.
Additional concern by Hammond and her colleagues in the House and Senate is that SB 25 provides an “overly broad and expansive definition of fetal viability.” This may allow for late-term abortions under certain circumstances. The new law also removes criminal penalties against doctors who perform abortions when there is a reasonable possibility of survival for the baby outside the mother.
While much attention has previously been paid toward the moral, ethical and social aspects of the law, there is a financial aspect coming in the form of private insurance companies now having to cover abortions. In 2017, the state passed a statute that allows for taxpayer funding of abortions for those receiving state medical benefits. Hammond opposed that bill when it went to the House floor at the time. The new law expands the circumstances when taxpayer-funded abortions may also occur — including late-term abortions.
On June 1, Sen. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, stated the selling point for the abortion bill was based in fear of federal legal precedent being overturned by the Supreme Court of the United States.
“They’re trying to sell this as simply a measure to ensure that if Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion will remain legal. Don’t believe the rhetoric, that’s already the law. This bill didn’t need to pass for that to happen. What this bill actually does is radically expand what would be allowed under the law,” said Tracy.
“It would allow for late-term abortion, would require private insurance companies to cover abortion, and could require doctors, nurses and hospitals to perform abortions without concern for their personal beliefs or constitutional rights. The bill states that a fetus has no fundamental rights. This greatly contradicts our laws that allow a defendant who takes the life of a pregnant woman to be charged with the murder of both the mother and the unborn child. Further, the bill removes many safety measures which actually could jeopardize women’s health if seeking an abortion. As a mother, and a human being, I support life. I voted no.”
Gov. Pritzker on Wednesday declared that Illinois is “the most progressive state in the nation for women’s reproductive rights.”
On June 1 following the bill passing the Senate, Pritzker stated on his official Facebook page: “In Illinois, we trust women to make the most personal and fundamental decisions of their lives — and now, that will be the law of the land, even as it’s under threat in other states.”
The law can be read online as a PDF at: https://bit.ly/2KHCHKt

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