Illinois Governor JB Pritzker on Wednesday signed legislation ensuring women’s right to an abortion.
The bill, titled the Reproductive Health Act, establishes that women in Illinois have the “fundamental right” to an abortion. The bill repeals numerous laws that restricted women’s access to abortion such as a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, and the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, which created criminal penalties for doctors performing abortions. Both laws have already been challenged by court orders, but now are obsolete.
Additionally, the bill clarifies the definition of viability and health. Under the new law, abortion will be treated as a health care service that private health insurance plans will be required to cover.
The law is an anticipatory move by Illinois in the event the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, the monumental case that defined abortion as a fundamental right. The law will go into effective immediately.
In a press release, Pritzker said:
In a time when too many states across the nation are taking a step backward, Illinois is taking a giant step forward for women’s health, Illinois is demonstrating what it means to affirm the rights of individuals to make the most personal and fundamental decisions of their lives, no matter your income level, race, ethnicity or religion.