Dramatic Changes Proposed To Illinois Law Regarding Abortion

Feb 13, 2017

New legislation would make the most dramatic changes since the 1970s to Illinois law dealing with abortion.

Credit Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

The prime target is a statute enacted after the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v Wade decision, which legalized abortion nationwide. State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) calls it the "trigger" law.

She says the administration of President Donald Trump is responsible for an awakening in women’s rights.

“In our state we have seen 250,000 women gather in one place, sort of sending a message that they’re not going backward,” Feigenholtz said. “And you know [we] have heard things from the White House that are unimaginable.”

The current proposal would remove the “trigger law,” which automatically outlaws abortion should Roe v. Wade ever be overturned.

It also would allow abortion to be paid for under Medicaid and state-employee health insurance plans.

Brigid Leahy, Vice President of Planned Parenthood Action Illinois, says legal-abortion advocates are now moving to stem the tide they see coming from Washington.

“We haven’t done a proactive bill like this in a number of years,” she said.

The Pro-Life Action League in Chicago says the legislation sends an ugly message to disadvantaged women that Illinois would "rather abort their children than offer them real help.”