News

Politics & Policy

Illinois Governor Signs Bill Scrapping Third-Trimester Abortion Restrictions

lllinois Governor J.B. Pritzker delivers remarks in Washington, D.C., April 9, 2019. (Jeenah Moon/Reuters)

Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday signed a wide-ranging bill protecting abortion rights in the state.

The Reproductive Health Act states that “a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the laws of this state” and that an individual has a “fundamental right” to abortion.

“If you believe in standing up for women’s fundamental rights, Illinois is a beacon of hope in the heart of this nation,” Pritzker said before signing the law. “We trust women.”

The measure “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,” he added.

The bill passed the Illinois House 64 to 50 and last month passed the Illinois Senate 34 to 20. While advocates have described it as simply codifying current law in Illinois, critics have charged that it dramatically loosens the state’s abortion restrictions.

The bill scraps a requirement that a second physician sign off on an abortion performed after viability (around 24 weeks) and permits the procedure for the “health of the patient,” which includes “all factors that are relevant to the patient’s health and well-being, including, but not limited to, physical, emotional, psychological, and familial health and age.”

The law also repeals Illinois’s Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, although that procedure, usually performed extremely late in a pregnancy, is still prohibited by federal law. Certain non-doctor medical professionals would be permitted to perform abortions under the law, and all health insurers would be required to cover the procedure.

The Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based pro-life law firm, accused the state of “legalizing the death penalty, with no possibility of appeal, for viable unborn preemies” in passing the law. The group’s vice president, Peter Breen, a former Illinois representative, called the bill “the most radical sweeping pro-abortion measure in America” and said it “makes Illinois an abortion destination for the country.”

“Americans of every political persuasion are appalled by these attempts to expand abortion on demand through the moment of birth and even infanticide, and that in turn is driving pro-life momentum around the country,” said Jill Stanek, the Susan B. Anthony List’s national campaign chairwoman, in a statement.

Most Popular

Politics & Policy

Fox News Anchor Shepard Smith Resigns

Fox News Channel's chief anchor, Shepard Smith, announced on air Friday that he would be resigning from his post after 23 years with the network. “This is my last newscast here,” said Smith. “Recently, I asked the company to allow me to leave Fox News. After requesting that I stay, they obliged.” He ... Read More
NR Webathon

Don’t Let Michael Mann Succeed

I  enjoyed the running joke of Jarndyce v. Jarndyce in the great Dickens novel Bleak House, back when I first read it. Little did I know that one day I and the magazine that I love would effectively be caught up in a version of that interminable case, courtesy of a litigious climate scientist with zero regard ... Read More
White House

What Is Impeachment For?

W hat is impeachment for? Seems like a simple question. Constitutionally speaking, it also appears to have a simple answer: to cite and remove from power a president guilty of wrongdoing. Aye, there’s the rub. What sort of wrongdoing warrants removal from power? I’d wager that the flames of ... Read More
Elections

Beto Proposes to Oppress Church with State

Beto O’Rourke’s presidential campaign is within the margin of error of non-existence, but in his failure he has found a purpose: expressing the Democratic id. His latest bid for left-wing love came at a CNN forum on gay rights, where he said that churches that oppose same-sex marriage should have to pay ... Read More