SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — Out of state people seeking abortions in Illinois may soon have the state on their side if they face legal consequences in their home state thanks to a bill that heads to the Governor’s desk.
The Illinois General Assembly passed a bill protecting abortion, assisted reproduction and gender affirming care in both chambers Tuesday. It also shields medical professionals from any out of state laws and forbids insurance companies from charging out-of-pocket costs if they seek reproductive care at an out-of-network provider.
The bill is similar to one the House of Representatives passed Thursday. Notable differences include removing the idea for Plan B to be dispensed at vending machines on college campuses.
Pro-abortion access advocates applaud Illinois for maintaining protections to remain an island of reproductive care in the Midwest.
“Now more than ever we need to continue to fight for equitable access to essential reproductive health care like abortion and gender affirming care,” Jennifer Welch, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action said. “Because all people should have the freedom to make medical decisions that are best for their bodies, their lives and their families.”
Democrats argue this bill provides necessary language for out-state-residents looking for bodily autonomy.
“With this legislation, today, we are ensuring that Illinois will continue to serve the thousands of people traveling to our state every month to receive abortions and other reproductive and gender-affirming health care, which they can no longer access in their home states,” Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) said.
Republicans say the abortion laws Illinois already has are too extreme.
“The state of Illinois has some of the most pro-abortion laws on the books throughout the nation,” Sen. Sally Turner (R-Beason) said. “We have found ourselves at the point that any new pro-abortion law is no longer about protecting the right to get an abortion, but to come up with new and extreme ways to promote getting an abortion.”
Republicans also worry medical professionals who aren’t doctors will be able to perform abortions.
Governor J.B. Pritzker has spoken positively in the past on abortion, and applauded Rep. Cassidy for passing the similar bill.