Article by Jackie Vicksman
Illinois governor J. B. Pritzker signed a progressive reproductive rights bill into law on June 12, 2019. The Reproductive Health Act identifies abortion as a “fundamental right” for individuals, and states that a “fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights.” It also explicitly does not permit the State to “deny, interfere with, or discriminate against these fundamental rights.” By repealing old restrictive laws such as the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 and the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, the Reproductive Health Act also removes barriers to abortion such as waiting periods, consent from a partner, and TRAP laws that incriminate doctors who provide abortions or post-abortion care. The new law also requires private insurance companies to cover abortions along with contraceptives. As several other states such as Georgia, Alabama, and Missouri have attempted to intensively restrict abortion access and other reproductive resources, the passage of this law is especially essential.