Illinois Democrats are one step closer to enacting an extreme abortion measure that would legalize partial-birth abortion.
The House passed the Reproductive Health Act, 64-50, which would repeal the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 and the state’s partial-birth abortion ban.
The measure strips all humanity from the unborn child, noting that a “a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights.”
Democrats pushed the legislation in response to a number of states that have passed anti-abortion measures recently.
“Today, Illinois says we are better than this war on women,” Chicago Democrat Rep. Kelly Cassidy ahead of the vote. “Illinois says we trust women. Please join me in saying that loud and clear: ‘We trust women.’ ”
The bill now heads to the Democrat-controlled Senate, and Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker said he plans to sign the legislation into law.
“With reproductive health care under attack across the country, we must do everything in our power to protect women’s rights in Illinois,” Pritzker said. “Today was a major step forward for every woman in this state.”
Republicans expressed outrage over the bill.
“This bill means that for a woman at my stage in pregnancy, where the baby responds to his dad’s voice as he reads him books at night ... the baby is perfectly healthy, but if that woman says, ‘Based on my familial health, this is medically necessary,’ that is allowed,” said Rep. Avery Bourne, who’s currently in her 34th week of pregnancy. “We are talking about the most expansive bill we have ever seen in this state and one of the most expansive across the country.”
Ralph Rivera, Legislative Chairman for Illinois Right to Life Action, also blasted the measure.
“No words can express the disappointment and heartache pro-life Illinoisans, like myself, are feeling,” he said in a statement.
“The incredible grassroots efforts of Illinois citizens who worked against this bill was astounding, and makes it clear that we were in the majority. Representative Avery Bourne’s defense of life and women on the House floor today was a testament to the truth of what we stand for, and I thank her for that.”