SPRINGFIELD, Illinois, May 29, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – On Tuesday, the Illinois House of Representatives passed a bill repealing the state’s partial-birth abortion ban, allowing non-doctors to commit abortions, and eliminating protections for babies born during failed abortions.
The bill, called the Reproductive Health Act, passed 64 to 50. It now heads to the Democrat-controlled state Senate.
This is “the most extreme expansion of abortion on demand in the entire country – more radical even than New York’s,” said the Susan B. Anthony (SBA) List’s National Campaign Chair Jill Stanek, an Illinois native and former nurse who witnessed babies being born alive and left to die in Chicago.
“It 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,” explained Stanek. “It strips away conscience protections for pro-life health care workers and forces all health insurance policies to cover abortions, including religious organizations. It even goes so far as to repeal Illinois’ ban on barbaric partial-birth abortions and eliminates protections for babies born alive during failed abortions.”
According to SBA List, the bill would also “expressly declare that the unborn child has no rights,” “eliminate the requirement that abortion data, including the number of abortions performed on out-of-state women or underage girls, be reported publicly,” and “eliminate the requirement to investigate maternal deaths due to abortion.”
Pleading on the House floor, the pregnant Rep. Avery Bourne, a Republican, said tearfully, “We already know that we’ve got women coming to Illinois to have abortions because we are so expansive on this issue. That will continue. This bill is not about keeping abortion legal in Illinois. This is about a massive [abortion] expansion that will impact viable babies. And that is wrong.”
In addition to removing the few restrictions on late-term abortions that exist under Illinois law, it also repeals old, unenforced criminal penalties for abortionists, apparently in anticipation for the Supreme Court’s possible overturning of Roe v. Wade.
“To our neighbors in Illinois who hear the news around the country and worry that this war on women is coming to Illinois, I say, not on my watch,” the openly lesbian Democrat Rep. Kelly Cassidy said to her colleagues.
Appearing to rebuke voters and legislators elsewhere, Cassidy said, “To the people in Missouri and Alabama and Georgia and Kentucky and Mississippi and Ohio, I say, not on my watch.”
Peter Breen, Vice President of the the pro-life Thomas More Society law firm and former Illinois State Representative, released a statement deploring the vote by the state’s Democratic supermajority.
Breen declared, “The Illinois House has just laid out the red carpet for those who would profit by victimizing vulnerable women and girls. These legislators have rejected the deep convictions of a strong majority of Illinoisans and voted to legalize late-term abortions without limit, wipe away health and safety licensing requirements, and make abortion a ‘fundamental right’ under Illinois law, ahead of even the right to free speech.”
Abortion regulations on Illinois law books would be nearly eliminated, while any remaining would be subjected to court challenge, he said, “under a near-impossible-to-meet ‘strict scrutiny’ standard.”
“The legacy of any legislator who voted for this bill is a cruel dehumanization on a mass scale,” said Breen. Six Democrats bucked their party’s line and voted with the minority against the abortion expansion bill.