CHICAGO - Today, Governor Rauner took the important step of signing HB 40 and safeguarding the right of a woman to safe and legal abortion regardless of how much money she makes or where she lives.
“Thank you Governor Rauner for signing HB 40,” said Planned Parenthood of Illinois President and CEO, Jennifer Welch. “With access to abortion under attack at the federal level, it is essential to make sure that women will have access to safe and legal abortion in Illinois.”
HB 40 repeals the “trigger” language in the Illinois Abortion law of 1975, which stated that Illinois would revert back to criminalizing abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the decision in Roe v. Wade. The authority to outlaw or severely restrict abortion would return to the states, if the court were to overturn Roe. HB 40 ensures that no matter what happens, federally, abortion will remain legal in Illinois. In addition, HB 40 strikes bans on abortion coverage by the Illinois’ Medicaid and State Employee Health Insurance programs. Coverage bans were enacted in the 1970s by politicians who wanted to keep as many women as possible from accessing abortion without running afoul of the Roe decision.
“HB 40 ends the discriminatory practice of denying women coverage based on how much money she makes or where she works,” explained Welch. “Whether she has private or government-funded health insurance, every woman should have access to a full range of pregnancy-related care, including abortion.”
Since the 2010 elections, anti-abortion politicians have focused on restricting access to abortion in states across the country according to the Guttmacher Institute. Over 30 percent of all abortion restrictions enacted since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade came in just the last six years.
“By enacting HB 40,” summarized Welch. “Illinois is sending a very clear message – a woman, not politicians, should make decisions when it comes to her own pregnancy.”