Illinois Moves to Expand Abortion Access to Minors While Repealing Its 'Partial Birth Abortion' Ban

Brittany M. Hughes | February 12, 2019
Font Size

Illinois, whose governor recently vowed to make the state the “most progressive state” when it comes to abortion access, is now moving forward with legislation that would remove criminal penalties for abortionists, require all private insurance plans to cover abortions, and remove a mandate requiring minors to get parental consent before getting an abortion.

And, if that weren’t radical enough, the new law would also repeal the state’s Partial Birth Abortion ban, which prohibits "intact dilation and extraction" procedures performed in the later months of pregnancy. The procedure, which has also been banned at the federal level, involves partially delivering a baby vaginally before sucking its brains out with a vacuum or manually crushing the skull with forceps.

ACLU Illinois Executive Director Colleen Connell told the Chicago Sun-Times that the new relaxed abortion measures allowing for more late-term abortions and fewer parental rights simply “[gets] rid of all the really bad stuff” in the state’s current abortion law.

“House Bill 40 was a very courageous and important first step, and now we’re actually moving down the path of making the vision and the values of House Bill 40 a reality,” Connell said. “We’re getting rid of all the really bad stuff.”

Illinois has already enacted a law that requires the state’s insurance plans to provide abortion coverage to all state employees. The new law, if passed and signed, would expand that rule to all private insurance plans offered throughout Illinois, requiring that abortions be covered in the same manner as other reproductive health care like birth controland – get this – maternity care.

Connell also argued that repealing the state’s current Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995 would help minors “already under duress” obtain abortions without parental knowledge without having to petition the courts.

While the new measures have yet to be voted on, they’re expected to pass the Democrat-led state legislature and make their way to the governor, who’s already said he “looks forward to reviewing the legislation and working with advocates to protect women’s rights.”