Planned Parenthood, ACLU Push Illinois to Make Abortion Fundamental Right

Members of the 'Planned Parenthood' women's rights group protest against the 'Stupak Ammendment' which they say will ban private abortion coverage for millions of American women, outside the Federal Courthouse in Los Angeles on November 20, 2009. Rights advocates have accused the most pro-choice US government in decades of throwing …
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DR. SUSAN BERRY

The Illinois chapters of Planned Parenthood and the ACLU are pressing the state legislature to pass several bills that would make partial birth abortion legal in the state and equate choosing to end the life of an unborn baby with health care.

“We’re getting rid of all the really bad stuff,” said Colleen Connell, executive director of the ACLU of Illinois, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

With a Democrat super-majority in the Illinois legislature and Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker – who said his goal is to make his state “the most progressive in the nation” when it comes to abortion – four lawmakers are introducing bills that would repeal most restrictions on abortion and make the procedure a fundamental right.

“The time is unquestionably now,” Connell said, adding:

Both because of what’s happening nationwide with President Trump and his two successful nominations to the Supreme Court, as well as what’s happening in some of the surrounding states in which abortion and birth control continue to be singled out for really punitive treatment and continued marginalization of women’s health care. And that marginalization of women’s health care is wrong and dangerous.

Modeled after a bill signed into law by New York Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the Illinois Reproductive Health Act would include removal of any criminal penalties for abortionists; repeal of the Partial Birth Abortion ban on third-trimester abortions; compelling private insurers to treat abortion just as contraception and maternity care; and repeal of a law that allows a husband to get an injunction to stop his wife’s abortion of his baby.

Another bill would allow minor girls to obtain an abortion without parental consent and without the requirement to obtain approval, in that case, from a judge.

Connell said the requirement of a judge’s approval for abortion for young pregnant girls is unnecessary and creates more stress.

“It has served no purpose except to burden the court and cause a lot of anxiety for minors who at the end of the day are found competent to make their own decisions and have an abortion,” she said.

According to a press statement released by the ACLU of Illinois, Democrat state Rep. Emmanuel ‘Chris’ Welch, who is sponsoring the bill in the Illinois House, said, “It never made sense to me that a minor can make other decisions – about carrying a pregnancy to term, about adoption, about sophisticated health care – without parental notification, but only if she seeks an abortion do we require this communication.”

Democrat state Sen, Melinda Bush who will lead the effort to pass the Reproductive Health Act in the state Senate, said, “We know that there is a movement today to limit access to reproductive health care. We want to reflect our values in Illinois and trust women.”

However, in a Facebook post, Mary Kate Knorr, spokesperson for Illinois Right to Life Action, said the proposed legislation is “consistent with pro-abortion bills that we have seen across the country, and are part of a national attempt to solidify abortion access in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned.”

“To be frank, these legislators are over-playing their hand,” she added. “This legislation is extreme and polling over many years has shown very clearly that such legislation is unpopular with the American people. Legislators will suffer the consequences of voting for these bills in future elections.”

Taxpayer-funded Planned Parenthood – which profits from abortion – obtains at least 35 percent of the U.S. abortion market, a figure that well overtakes the market shares of leaders in other industries, reported the Charlotte Lozier Institute in 2017.

In January, Planned Parenthood President Dr. Leana Wen confirmed that abortion is her organization’s “core mission.”

In a statement in the ACLU press release, Liz Higgins, associate medical director of Planned Parenthood of Illinois, said, “abortion is extremely safe, and the current laws only limit the ability of qualified medical professionals to provide safe, legal abortion.”

“Planned Parenthood and our partners are not going to let this become a country where people can no longer access abortion,” she said. “We will do everything we can to ensure patients have more access to critical health care and that policies reflect what people want.”

However, a recent Marist poll showed 75 percent of Americans want substantial restrictions on abortion, including 60 percent of Democrats and 61 percent of those who identify as pro-choice.

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