Illinois governor JB Pritzker signed the nation’s most permissive abortion bill into law Wednesday, as part of an effort to make abortion a “fundamental right” in the state.
The legislature passed the sweeping abortion bill last month in a whirlwind session that saw massive tax hikes and huge expansions in government in addition to this most recent abortion bill.
As The Daily Wire reported then, Pritzker’s landmark abortion bill repeals the state’s ban on “partial birth abortions,” legalizing the procedure all the way through pregnancy and up until the moment of birth. The bill utterly ignores the concept of viability, a particularly shocking development given that most states currently passing abortion-related regulations are greatly restricting the practice, not expanding it.
The bill also removes licensing requirements for medical professionals conducting abortions, mandates that all insurance providers within the state pay for abortions in full — even Christian health-share insurance options — and permanently repeals protections for doctors and other medical professionals who refuse to take part in performing abortions. It also strips away any remaining licensing and inspection requirements for abortion clinics in the state — even though several have been targeted for unsafe practices — and repeals penalties for providing abortion services without a license.
Worse, the bill changes the legal language of the state’s bevy of laws on “reproductive rights” in an effort to ensure that abortion is treated as a “fundamental right” by the Illinois constitution and legal code. Without any specifications on what constitutes a “fundamental right,” it is likely only a matter of time before the new law is used to challenge existing parental notification laws and mandatory reporting laws.
The ACLU has already indicated that it will use the new bill to challenge any remaining abortion restrictions in Illinois.
Pritzker accepted accolades for his progressive bill at a signing ceremony Thursday morning.
“Today we proudly proclaim that in this state, we trust women,” Pritzker said, according to CNN. “And in Illinois we guarantee as a fundamental right a woman’s right to choose.”
The law “ensures that women’s rights in Illinois do not hinge on the fate of Roe v. Wade or the whims of an increasingly conservative Supreme Court in Washington,” Pritzker added.
“The governor and the Democratic supermajorities who fast-tracked this legislation have created a new ‘death penalty’ in Illinois, with no possibility of appeal, for viable unborn preemies,” Peter Breen, Vice President and Senior Counsel of Illinois’ Thomas More Society, which fought the bill, told reporters in a statement Thursday. “This act is barbarous. Its definition of ‘viability’ expressly excludes many babies who today live and thrive when born premature – these babies now have zero legal rights or protections, under this law.”
“Governor Pritzker showed Illinois residents today that his gubernatorial record will be no different than Governor Rauner’s,” Mary Kate Knorr, spokeswoman for Illinois Right to Life Action, said at a press conference held in conjunction with Pritzker’s signing ceremony. “It’s a tale as old as time. Illinois politicians are more concerned with pandering to cash-wielding progressives and Chicago media outlets than they are with representing the people of our state. Pritzker doesn’t care what the people of Illinois want, nor does he care that abortion takes a human life.”
The law’s provisions go into effect immediately.