Statement of Khadine Bennett Legislative Counsel, American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois:
"Today's vote advances basic fairness for pregnant women in Illinois. When enacted into law, House Bill 8 ensures that pregnant women in our state no longer have to choose between a safe, healthy pregnancy and maintaining their employment. We are grateful that Representative Mary Flowers and Senator Toi Hutchinson exhibited such passionate, skillful leadership in moving the measure through both chambers and on to the Governor.
As the bill has worked its way through the legislature, more and more women across Illinois have come forward with reports of hardships faced during their pregnancy. In many instances, women were coerced into taking unpaid leave during a pregnancy, when modest accommodations would have permitted these women to continue to work during the duration of that pregnancy. In some instances, these accommodations can be as modest as being able to carry a bottle of water; in other instances, the accommodations may include placing reasonable limits on the amount of weight the pregnant woman has to lift.
These women who have come forward to tell their stories are the real heroes of this legislative effort and we thank them for their courage and commitment. The passage of this modest, reasoned legislation is a testament to their assistance.
We urge Governor Quinn to quickly sign this legislation."