Illinois Crowds Protest Radical Abortion Bills

Anti-abortion activists converge in front of the Supreme Court in Washington, Friday, Jan. 27, 2017, during the annual March for Life. Thousands of anti-abortion demonstrators gathered in Washington for an annual march to protest the Supreme Court's landmark 1973 decision that declared a constitutional right to abortion. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik
DR. SUSAN BERRY

Large crowds are anticipated in Springfield, Illinois, on Wednesday as activists gather to protest two abortion measures that pro-life champions say are both “anti-women” and “anti-children.”

Bills called the Repeal of Parental Notification (HB 2467) and the Reproductive Health Act (HB 2495) have drawn busloads of Illinois residents to the capitol building.

“There is widespread outcry from the people of Illinois against these extreme anti-women and anti-children bills since they were introduced a month ago,” said Illinois Right to Life Action’s Mary Kate Knorr in a statement. “Residents from all corners of Illinois are expressing outrage at this proposed legislation, which disregards the health and safety of women. We intend to bring that outrage to Springfield, where legislators cannot ignore it.”

HB 2467 would strip away all parental rights to consent for a minor to obtain an abortion, and remove the requirement of medical certification by the facility for a minor’s abortion.

HB 2495 would allow unregulated abortion up until the moment of birth for any reason, and “provides that a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the law, of this State.”

Illinois Right to Life asserts that the Reproductive Health Act also allows non-physicians to perform surgical abortions, requires all private health insurers to cover abortion with no restrictions, and forces all medical professionals to participate in abortions, regardless of their faith beliefs or moral convictions.

The Illinois chapters of Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) pressed the state legislature to pass measures that would make partial birth abortion legal in the state.

With a Democrat super-majority in the state legislature and the support of 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 introduced bills that would repeal most restrictions on abortion and make the procedure a fundamental right.

Pro-life leaders assert the proposed legislation would make Illinois a “third-trimester abortion destination” with no abortion clinic required to undergo state health inspections.

In addition to Knorr, Bishop Thomas Paprocki, of the Catholic Diocese of Springfield, is expected to speak at the protest, along with Illinois state Reps. Terri Bryant and Amy Grant, and Eric Scheidler, executive director of Pro-Life Action League.

“As a father of six daughters, the Repeal of Parental Notification is about as personal as it gets for me,” said Scheidler in a statement. “It is absolutely in my teenage daughters’ best interest for my wife and me to be involved in their healthcare decisions. I think I can speak for most parents when I say that with these proposed bills, Illinois is trampling on our parental rights.”

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