Republican state legislators denounced the enactment of a law to expand access to abortions.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Reproductive Health Act on Wednesday, saying it makes Illinois “the most progressive state in the nation for women’s reproductive rights” and treats reproductive health care like other health care, requires private health insurance in the state to cover abortion and ensures regulations reflect “current medical standards,” according to a news release.
The passage of the law came among a slew of measures passed in other states to restrict abortion rights, which may lead to the U.S. Supreme Court taking up the matter in the future.
State Rep. Mark Batinick released a statement arguing it was an unnecessary step to take.
“Signing this into law for Illinois is an unnecessary and rushed effort to keep abortions legal in Illinois should Roe v. Wade be overturned,” Batinick said in his statement. “It was passed in reaction to what is occurring in other states around the nation. Yet, our reality in Illinois is that abortion was legal before this, and it still would be even without this law.”
He said he did not vote for the bill because he thought it was a “dangerous expansion” of the law in the state.
“I think this is actually detrimental to the health of women, and poses greater health risks by deregulating abortion clinics, eliminating restrictions on late-term abortions, legalizing partial birth abortions and removing criminal penalties against doctors performing illegal abortions,” Batinick, R-Plainfield, said.
State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, also attacked the bill in a statement claiming it allowed for “late-term abortions” up to nine months into pregnancy for any reason.
“Taking away all remaining rights for the unborn is not something we should be celebrating,” Rezin said. “To say I am disappointed is an understatement. This law is extreme and unsettling. Today is a sad day in Illinois.”
If a health care professional finds fetal viability, the law states, an abortion can only be performed if they feel it necessary “to protect the life or health of the patient.”