lllinois Governor J.B. Pritzker delivers remarks in Washington, D.C., April 9, 2019. (Jeenah Moon/Reuters)
Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker on Wednesday signed a wide-ranging bill protecting abortion rights in the state.
The Reproductive Health Act states that “a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the laws of this state” and that an individual has a “fundamental right” to abortion.
“If you believe in standing up for women’s fundamental rights, Illinois is a beacon of hope in the heart of this nation,” Pritzker said before signing the law. “We trust women.”
The measure “ensures that women’s rights in Illinois do not hinge on the fate of Roe v. Wade or the whims of an increasingly conservative Supreme Court in Washington,” he added.
The bill passed the Illinois House 64 to 50 and last month passed the Illinois Senate 34 to 20. While advocates have described it as simply codifying current law in Illinois, critics have charged that it dramatically loosens the state’s abortion restrictions.
The bill scraps a requirement that a second physician sign off on an abortion performed after viability (around 24 weeks) and permits the procedure for the “health of the patient,” which includes “all factors that are relevant to