The following can be attributed to Colleen Connell, Executive Director of the ACLU of Illinois:
“After months of thoughtful discussion and consultation, the Illinois House today passed the Reproductive Health Act. House members made clear that Roe v. Wade and its protections for reproductive freedom -- is under threat today as never before – with more than 20 cases in the federal court pipeline aimed at crippling or reversing Roe. The RHA responds to this threat by recognizing reproductive health care as a fundamental right, and by removing outdated, long-blocked statutes that make many forms of abortion care and contraceptives a crime.
While the debate over the past months has focused on abortion care, the RHA also protects access to contraceptives, assisted reproduction, diagnostic testing, and maternal care in our state. The bill empowers every person in Illinois to make the most personal medical decisions in consultation with their physician. Everyone deserves that right. The House recognized this and saw the urgency in protecting this basic health care.
Thousands of Illinois residents have taken to the streets and visited the Capitol in recent days in order to voice strong support for this measure – especially after seeing nine states enact abortion bans since the first of the year.
The Reproductive Health Act was introduced in February. Doctors, nurses, professional medical societies, and insurers have contributed to the drafting of this important bill.
Opponents – who want to ban all abortions and who also oppose many forms of birth control – seek to camouflage their opposition behind wildly inflated concerns about taking this bill up at the end of session. Truth be told, they would have opposed this bill – and did – since the day it was introduced.
Today’s victory would not have been possible without the courageous efforts of Representative Kelly Cassidy. Representative Cassidy has been relentless in working to move this measure throughout the session and fearless in telling her own personal story as part of the process. We are grateful for her expertise and commitment.
We call on the Senate to act the RHA before the end of session on Friday. It is time now for Illinois to enact the RHA.”