SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, June 12, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – On Wednesday morning, Illinois’ Democrat Gov. JB Pritzker signed into law a measure allowing virtually unlimited abortion in the state, in what many pro-life advocates say is one of the most extreme bills of its kind.
The so-called Reproductive Health Act (RHA) codifies a “fundamental right” to abortion, establishes “that a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the law,” and repeals numerous restrictions and regulations on abortion, including protections against taxpayer funding of abortion and protections for infants born after failed abortions.
“Let the word go forth today from this place that if you believe in standing up for women's fundamental rights, Illinois is a beacon of hope in the heart of this nation,” Pritzker declared, ABC 7 reports. “We trust women.”
The legislation “allows abortion throughout pregnancy, up to the moment of birth, for any reason. It allows abortions by a non-doctor in a facility that's not inspected and doesn't have to report injuries,” said Susan B. Anthony List National Campaign Chair Jill Stanek, an Illinois native and former nurse who rose to prominence after exposing infanticide in Chicago. “It strips away conscience protections for pro-life health care workers and forces all health insurance policies to cover abortions, including religious organizations.”
“The bill Illinois lawmakers passed is so radical, they even went out of their way to repeal the state’s ban on barbaric partial-birth abortions,” noted Stanek. “There is no pride or glory in being the most extreme pro-abortion state in the nation.”
Federal law still prohibits partial-birth abortion, a method of late-term abortion. However, other methods of late-term abortion are legal and readily available at facilities in states like Colorado, New Mexico, and Maryland. Illinois already has abortion facilities that advertise their willingness to commit abortions past 20 weeks, after a preborn baby can feel pain, such as Family Planning Associates of Chicago and Hope Clinic for Women.
ABC 7 says that post-viability abortions would still be allowed “only if necessary to protect the health or life of the pregnant woman.” But pro-lifers have long warned that so-called “health exceptions” are defined by Roe v. Wade’s companion case, Doe v. Bolton, in which the US Supreme Court defined “health” in the context of abortion as encompassing “all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the wellbeing of the patient.”
Laws such as the RHA are meant to insulate abortion-on-demand from a hypothetical future Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe, which would reactivate old abortion bans that remain on the books in several states and free states and Congress to directly ban abortion.
At the end of last month, Pastor Corey Musgrave of Fairfield’s New Beginnings Church devoted his opening prayer before the Illinois State House to admonishing pro-abortion lawmakers for advancing the RHA. He asked God to “rise up…and judge Illinois for the sanctioned destruction of the innocent unborn. For when Your judgements are in this state, the inhabitants of Illinois learn righteousness.”