Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner [official website] signed HB 0040 [text] into law Thursday, which removes many restrictions on the funding of abortions. The law adds language to the State Employees Group Insurance Act, which states “reproductive health care that is otherwise legal in Illinois shall be covered under the medical assistance program for persons who are otherwise eligible for medical assistance under this Article.”
The law removes the restriction that did not allow the non-contributory portion of the program of health benefits from being used to perform abortions. It also removes a requirement that any claim for reimbursement for abortions be accompanied by a written statement of a physician. Restrictions removing physicians from the list of physicians qualified to participate as a vendor of medical services under the medical assistance program if they had performed an abortion procedure on a woman who was not pregnant was also removed by the law.
The law now allows grants to nonprofit agencies and organizations even if they refer or counsel for or perform abortions. It also removes language which stated that the General Assembly of Illinois declared that an unborn child is a legal person from the time of conception.
Abortion rights in the US have been a heavily contested topic for many years. In June the Supreme Court of Georgia ruled [JURIST report] that the state was immune from litigation regarding a lawsuit challenging a 20-week abortion ban law. Also in June the Delaware legislature approved [JURIST report] a bill guaranteeing abortion access and lifting any restrictions on abortions prior to the stage where a fetus reaches viability. The Delaware bill was signed [Bill Status] into law by Delaware’s Governor on June 8.