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Local News

Kinzinger advocates for GOP's Born Alive bill

Congressman Adam Kinzinger participated in a press conference recently urging Democratic leadership to allow a vote on “Born Alive” protections and spoke out against new legislation proposed in Illinois.

This proposal would require doctors to use all means to save the life of a child born alive after an attempted abortion.

Kinzinger, R-Channahon, said Democrats have blocked a House vote on the bill 17 times. Opponents have said the bill would discourage legal abortions and is redundant. The abortion debate has been reignited with recent bills in Virginia and New York gaining national attention.

The debate also is occurring at a time when Illinois is poised to provide greater access to reproductive health care than any other state.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has
said he will turn Illinois into “the most progressive state ... for access to reproductive health care.”

According to Capitol News Illinois, this new legislation would repeal current abortion law and replace it with language enshrining reproductive health as a “fundamental right.” The Reproductive Health Act prohibits the state from intruding in a woman’s decision-making. It also allows local governments to write ordinances strengthening reproductive health care, but bars them from weakening access.

The proposed legislation requires health care professionals to file a report with the Department of Public Health of each abortion procedure they perform.

Opponents say the proposal would repeal sections of at least three statutes that give legal protections for health care workers and providers who refuse to take part in or perform abortion procedures. Kinzinger spoke against the proposed legislation.

“The legislature in my home state of Illinois is now debating two of its own abortion bills, both of which seem just as extreme,” he said.

According to a recent New York Times article, a fetus becomes viable at about 24 weeks. Only about 1.3 percent of abortions in the United States in 2015 were performed in or after the 21st week of pregnancy, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

A condition called pre-eclampsia, involving high blood pressure and other problems, can kill both mother and fetus, and in most cases the only treatment is to deliver the baby. If it seems unlikely the baby will survive, the family may choose to provide comfort care and allow the child to die naturally. The proposed GOP bill would force doctors to resuscitate such an infant.

• Capitol News Illinois’ Rebecca Anzel contributed to this report.

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