Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker Signs Sweeping Bill Allowing Partial-Birth Abortion into Law

Illinois Gov Pritzker Signs Bill
AP Photo/Amr Alfiky

Illinois Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed an expansive bill into law Wednesday that repeals the state’s ban on partial-birth abortion and makes abortion at any time during pregnancy a “fundamental right.”

The new law is a sign the governor is “making good on his promise to make Illinois the most progressive state in the nation for women’s reproductive rights,” his office said.

Only six years after Philadelphia abortionist Kermit Gosnell was found guilty of murdering infants born alive in his “house of horrors” clinic that escaped state health and safety inspections, Pritzker signed into law the new measure that Illinois Right to Life says “effectively eliminate[s] licensing and health and safety inspections of abortion clinics.”

The new law, which takes effect immediately, strips any independent rights of the unborn and eliminates prior legislative language requiring an abortionist to provide immediate medical care to an infant who survives an abortion.

The measure also forces all private insurance companies to cover abortion, with no exemption for faith groups.

“In a time when too many states across the nation are taking a step backward, Illinois is taking a giant step forward for women’s health,” Pritzker said.

Planned Parenthood, the largest provider of abortions in the United States, celebrated the new law on Twitter:

National pro-life leaders, however, condemned the legislation.

“I grieve today for the people of Illinois,” said Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life. “This law calls abortion a ‘fundamental right.’ The reality is that life is a fundamental right. Moreover, laws like this are not a sign of the strength of the abortion movement, but of its weakness.”

Pavone added:

Abortion supporters are on the run, and are losing popular support. They see the courts slipping out of their hands, and so they no longer hide their extremism.

That extremism is also the extremism of the Democrat Party, which is in deep need of reform, and until it abandons its support of abortion measures like this, it does not deserve a shred of political power.

Mary Kate Knorr, spokeswoman for Illinois Right to Life Action said, “It’s a tale as old as time – Illinois politicians are more concerned with pandering to cash-wielding progressives and Chicago media outlets than they are with representing the people of our state.”

Emily Kelly, a neonatal ICU nurse at a Chicago hospital, also stated, “This bill is a horrible contradiction of fundamental scientific truths and the work that I do every single day. Under this law, every single one of my patients could be legally killed in utero in our state.”

“The governor and the Democratic supermajorities who fast-tracked this legislation have created a new ‘death penalty’ in Illinois, with no possibility of appeal, for viable unborn preemies,” said Peter Breen, Thomas More Society vice president and senior counsel. “This act is barbarous. Its definition of ‘viability’ expressly excludes many babies who today live and thrive when born premature – these babies now have zero legal rights or protections, under this law.”

Ralph Rivera, legislative chairman for Illinois Right to Life, noted “the celebratory glee” expressed by the measure’s supporters.

“It only confirms that they don’t want abortions to be safe and rare, but only legal and paid for by our tax dollars,” he said. “What joy can there be in the killing of unborn babies?”


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