Legislators asked to adopt measures previously blocked by courts

Chicago -- Despite a spate of federal court rulings blocking extreme, anti-abortion legislation in states across the country, the Illinois House of Representatives is being asked to consider a pair of dangerous measures that, if they become law, will deprive many women in Illinois of access to a safe, legal medical procedure.  State Representative Thomas Morrison of Palatine recently introduced two measures -- House Bill 5462 and House Bill 5463 -- for consideration by the Illinois House during the spring session.

Taken together, these measures will eliminate meaningful access to abortion in Illinois by imposing medically unnecessary abortion clinic regulations intended to shut clinics down and subjecting women seeking abortion care to insurmountable obstacles and harmful requirements such as state-mandated lectures that include medically inaccurate information. Such obstacles are clearly intended to shame women and to coerce them into changing their abortion decision.

The proposals also necessitate a dramatic increase in state spending by forcing the Illinois Department of Public Health to meet extensive and costly requirements that serve no valid medical or regulatory purpose.

"The most virulent, politically-driven anti-abortion politics have arrived in Illinois in these two proposals," said Lorie Chaiten, director of the reproductive rights project of the ACLU of Illinois. "Many of these provisions already have been blocked by courts in Illinois and elsewhere. Their sole purpose is to shut down abortion care in Illinois and deprive women of the basic right to make their own decision about whether to continue a pregnancy. "

"These bills will harm women, cost the state exorbitant sums desperately needed for essential state programs, and subject the state to further, costly court challenges to the constitutional validity of these laws,” Chaiten added.

The ACLU of Illinois is joined in its criticism of the bill by many other organizations, including the Chicago Abortion Fund.

"Women deserve choice, not governmental regulation of their bodies," said Gaylon Alcaraz, executive director of the Chicago Abortion Fund. "HB5462 and HB5463 are dangerous, unnecessary and rob women of their constitutional right to make the best decisions for themselves and their families."

IDPH has safely and effectively regulated abortion services in Illinois for decades under multiple federal court decrees. These bills add nothing to patient safety or regulatory oversight.

"When one looks behind the facetious claims of trying to protect women, these measures are ideologically-driven, extreme measures that are designed to limit women's access to abortion services in our state," said the ACLU's Chaiten.

"No one should be fooled by these efforts."