January 13, 2017 8:00 am

Representative Feigenholtz introduces legislation protecting abortion access in Illinois

SPRINGFIELD – Earlier this week, Representative Sara Feigenholtz introduced House Bill 40, which reaffirms the State of Illinois’ commitment to ensuring access to comprehensive reproductive health care including abortion for all women in the state.

“House Bill 40 is a critical piece of legislation that ensures that women’s health care will be protected in Illinois regardless of what happens to the Supreme Court in a Trump administration,” said Lorie Chaiten, Director of the Women’s and Reproductive Health Project at the ACLU of Illinois.

House Bill 40 repeals a dangerous “trigger” provision in the Illinois abortion law and affirms that Illinois has no intention of ever going back to the pre-Roe days of illegal abortion. The bill also removes discriminatory provisions from Illinois law that deny abortion coverage to many women covered by Medicaid and State Employee Health Insurance.

Restrictions on coverage for abortion care have been widespread for decades.

“House Bill 40 will ensure that, in Illinois, all women will have access to a full range of reproductive health care, and that includes abortion services,” said Brigid Leahy Director of Public Policy at Planned Parenthood of Illinois.

Some politicians who want to ban all abortions have, instead worked to deny insurance coverage so that women cannot afford such care. When it comes to the most important decisions in life – including whether to become a parent – a woman must be able to consider all options, regardless of how little money she makes or how she is insured. House Bill 40 will ensure that a woman who chooses to end her pregnancy has access to safe, legal care, because she cannot afford to pay out of pocket. When people can plan if and when to have children, it is good for them and for society as a whole.

“The new Washington establishment has made it clear that they oppose a woman’s right to choose and that abortion will be illegal in some states,” Feigenholtz explained. House Bill 40 is a necessary step that will ensure that every woman in Illinois will have access to safe and legal reproductive and abortion services without interference from politicians in Washington. “We want Illinois women moving forward – not backward,” Feigenholtz added.

Representative Sara Feigenholtz represents Illinois 12th district.