Illinois Reproductive Health Act Declares ‘Fundamental Right’ to Abortion, No ‘Independent Rights’ for Unborn

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — An Illinois bill that declares that women have a “fundamental right” to abortion and that a “fetus does not have independent rights” apart from his or her mother has been assigned to a House committee for consideration.

The Reproductive Health Act, presented by Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, has already generated opposition as an estimated 500 residents gathered at the Effingham Event Center last week to collectively express concern over the proposed measure.

“Every individual who becomes pregnant has a fundamental right to continue the pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion, and to make autonomous decisions about how to exercise that right,” the bill, House Bill 2495, reads.

“A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the laws of this state,” it declares.

The bill also proclaims that the State may not “deny, restrict, interfere with, or discriminate against an individual’s exercise of the fundamental rights set forth in this Act.”

Some interpret the statute as allowing abortion up until birth for any reason as it does not contain language pertaining to limitations, and would eliminate language from the current law that prohibits abortion past the point of viability unless “in the medical judgment of the attending or referring physician, based on the particular facts of the case before him, it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.”

It additionally allows for non-physicians, such as advanced practice registered nurses or physicians assistants, to perform abortions, listing them generally as “health care professionals.”

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“A health care professional may provide abortion care in accordance with the health care professional’s best professional judgment and training and based on accepted standards of clinical practice,” the proposed legislation states.

Read the bill in full here. 

A separate bill, presented by Rep. Emanuel Welch, D-Westchester, would repeal the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995.

Pro-life groups in the state have decried the proposals as being “the most extreme piece of abortion legislation that has ever been introduced in Illinois, and, arguably, the most extreme one that has been proposed in any state to date.” The Thomas More Society released an analysis of the Reproductive Health Act, deeming it even worse than New York’s abortion “rights” law of the same name.

“These bills go well beyond the recent New York law and would turn Illinois into a third-trimester abortion destination and an underage abortion haven,” said Vice President Peter Breen in a statement.

“Governor J.B. Pritzker promised that his Illinois Democrats would turn the state into the most ‘progressive’ in the country on abortion, and these bills deliver on that violent promise: Pritzker and his Democratic supermajorities would convert the ‘Land of Lincoln’ into the ‘Abortion Capital of America,'” he lamented.

Michelle Delhaute McGowan, president of In His Hands Orphan Outreach, told the Effingham Daily News that the legislation adversely affects her orphan and adoption agency.

“We’ve had women who were eight months pregnant when they came to us, and both said they would have had an abortion but it was too late,” she stated. “If these bills go through, other women in that situation will be able to abort these children that can survive outside of the womb.”

Cassidy told reporters that she doesn’t view her proposal as being extraordinary, and inferred that abortions are for medical reasons in couching the matter as under the umbrella of “health care.”

“This is modernization; this is clean-up; this is not breaking much, if any, new ground,” Cassidy said. “We are making clear what the state of our law is—once and for all, we are making clear that health care decisions are made between a medical professional and a woman.”

As previously reported, the Centers for Disease Control outlined in its November abortion statistics report that 638,169 unborn babies were aborted in 2015—the latest year on file—not counting totals from California, Maryland and New Hampshire. The vast majority of women obtaining abortions—85.3%—are unmarried.

Psalm 127:3 says, “Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord, and the fruit of the womb is His reward.” Proverbs 6 similarly teaches that God hates “hands that shed innocent blood.”

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