Illinois Set To Pass Sweeping Abortion Rights Bill

The Illinois Senate on Friday night passed a bill which establishes a woman's "fundamental right" to terminate the life of her unborn child, and that a "fertilized egg, embryo or fetus does not have independent rights.

The bill comes on the heels of strict abortion bans passed in conservative states.

In a vote of 34-20, the Illinois chamber approved the sweeping measure, which now heads to the desk of Democratic Governor J.B. Pritzker, who has indicated that he will sign it, according to The Chicago Tribune.  

"Illinois is making history, because our state will now be the most progressive in the nation for reproductive healthcare. In Illinois, we trust women to make the most personal and fundamental decisions of their lives — and now, that will be the law of the land, even as it’s under threat in other states," said Pritzker in a statement after the bill passed in the Illinois House. 

The "Reproductive Health Act" repeals the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, which ended provisions for spousal consent, waiting periods and criminal penalties for abortion doctors among other things. 

The new bill also repeals the state's Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act, however as noted by the Tribune, a federal law banning the late-term procedure except to save a mother's life is still in force. 

Republican state Sen. Sue Rezin called the measure "radical," which Sen. Dal Righter (R) said the notion that the abortion bill is necessary "simply to protect a woman’s right to choose is not accurate," adding "This bill goes much further and does much more."