Governor Pritzker Signs Reproductive Healthcare Act Expanding Abortion Access

Nancy Harty
June 12, 2019 - 8:01 am
Governor JB Pritzker signed Wednesday the Reproductive Health Act into law.

WBBM Newsradio/Nancy Harty

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CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Governor JB Pritzker has signed into law protections that would keep abortion legal in Illinois regardless of what happens at the federal level.

Pritzker signed the Reproductive Health Act at a 10 a.m. ceremony at the Chicago Cultural Center. He vowed to sign the bill after it passed the General Assembly at the end of May. 

Gov. Pritzker said the act makes Illinois the most progressive state in the nation for women’s reproductive health care; calling it a giant step forward, as many other states are taking what he said is a step backwards.

The Reproductive Health Act removes restrictions on abortions later in pregnancy, as well as eliminates spousal consent, waiting periods, and criminal penalties for abortion providers. Both the Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act and the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 have been blocked by court orders.

The bill also expands insurance coverage for procedures and contraception.

"The Reproductive Health Act 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," Pritzker said.

Abortion opponents including Peter Breen with the Thomas More Society said Illinois will become the abortion capital of the country under the new law; which he said eliminates checks on clinics.

"The law requiring their licensing is now off the books. There is no way for the State of Illinois to now go in and inspect these dirty abortion clinics," he said.

Wednesday's signing ceremony comes at a time when several states are passing more restrictive abortion laws with no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.