**TRIGGER WARNING**: This article deals with the topic of abortion.
Illinois has passed legislation that calls abortion a “fundamental right,” states the fetus “does not have independent rights” and makes abortion a part of health care.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the new legislation repeals a 1975 state law that required spousal consent, waiting periods, placed restrictions on abortion facilities, and outlined procedures for pursuing criminal charges against abortion providers. The bill also rolls back some state restrictions on late-term abortions by repealing Illinois’ Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act. Many provisions in the two newly negated laws had not been enforced due to court injunctions.
“We’re not going back,” said Sen. Melinda Bush, member of the Illinois Senate for the 31st district, who sponsored the bill in the Illinois Senate. “We’re not going back to coat hangers, we’re not going back to dying. We’re not going back. And I am proud to say Illinois is a beacon for women’s rights, for human rights.”
Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker said he would sign the bill. The move to expand abortion rights in Illinois comes as states including Alabama, Georgia, Ohio, Missouri, Indiana, Kentucky, and Mississippi have all passed laws restricting access to abortion.
The Planned Parenthood Action Fund reports that so far in 2019, there have been 300 anti-abortion bills introduced in 36 states.
“This is an extremely dangerous time for women’s health all around the country,” Leana Wen, president of the Action Fund, told the Washington Post.
In Missouri, which passed a law banning abortion after eight weeks with no exceptions for rape or incest last week, there is only one abortion provider left— a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis, which was almost forced to close after state lawmakers refused to renew its license. A judge’s temporary restraining order issued Friday will keep the clinic open — for now. The next hearing in the case comes on June 4; should Planned Parenthood lose its case, the people of Missouri will have to travel to another state, like Illinois, for abortion care.
Other states besides Illinois are working to protect access to abortion rights. Some 13 states including New Mexico, Rhode Island, and Nevada, have proposed bills to include a right to abortion in their Constitutions. While many of those efforts are still in their early stages, Vermont passed a bill to include the protection in its Constitution last week.