Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed a law on Wednesday that he said would protect abortion access from “the whims of an increasingly conservative supreme court in Washington.” This bill specifically states that that unborn children have no legal rights.
Here’s what we know
Illinois had previously had a law on the books which made it illegal for doctors to perform abortions that were not “necessary.” This law revokes that, and requires health insurance companies operating in the state to cover abortions.
In addition, it specifies “that a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the law, of this State.” It also, according to Pritzker, “ensures that women’s rights do not hinge on Roe V. Wade or the whims of an increasingly conservative supreme court in Washington.”
According to CDC data from 2015 (released in 2018), even before this law was signed, around 39,856 abortions took place in the state of Illinois during a single year. The pro-abortion Gutmacher Institute reported that Illinois was the state with the sixth highest number of abortions in the entire country (42,270) for 2014, after California, Florida, New Jersey, New York, and Texas.
Pritzker said that his sate was “going to be here for women if they have to be refugees from other states,”
On Twitter, Pritzker called the law “a giant step forward for women’s health” and compared it to the ratification of the 19th amendment, which gave women the right to vote. The law took effect immediately after receiving the governor’s signature.
This law is in stark contrast to the pro-life legislation recently passed in neighboring Missouri, where the state government and a judge have locked in a struggle over the future of the state’s last abortion clinic.