Senator Steans defends a woman's right to choose

Recent rollbacks to women’s rights led State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) to sponsor House Bill 40 to ensure that Illinois will remain a state where women can safely and legally exercise their right to choose.

“I think it is paramount that we protect a woman’s right to choose and ensure that Illinois will be a state where women can safely and legally exercise this right, regardless of what happens at the federal level,” Steans said. “Roe v. Wade has been the law of the land for more than 40 years. Due to a trigger in Illinois law, if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, Illinois would return to a state where abortion was illegal. I believe we should uphold the intention of the justices that ruled in favor of a woman’s right to choose and cement this freedom to choose in Illinois law.”

House Bill 40 removes the "trigger" provision from a 1975 Illinois law that would reinstate previous state policy banning abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Additionally the legislation will allow abortion coverage for individuals on Medicaid or covered by State Employee Health Insurance plans.

“Women should have access to safe abortion services regardless of their income or employer,” Steans said. “This is a decision between a woman and her doctor. Illinois has antiquated laws on the books that impose religious principles on individuals that may not ascribe to those beliefs. This legislation updates those laws and protects access to safe and legal abortion services.”

Abortion rates have been falling over the past 40 years and are lower now than when Roe v. Wade was ruled.

“I hope that Gov. Rauner will stick to his word and sign HB 40,” Steans said.

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