SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — An Illinois bill that declares that women have a “fundamental right” to abortion and that a “fetus does not have independent rights” apart from his or her mother has been assigned to a House committee for consideration.
The Reproductive Health Act, presented by Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, has already generated opposition as an estimated 500 residents gathered at the Effingham Event Center last week to collectively express concern over the proposed measure.
“Every individual who becomes pregnant has a fundamental right to continue the pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion, and to make autonomous decisions about how to exercise that right,” the bill, House Bill 2495, reads.
“A fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the laws of this state,” it declares.
The bill also proclaims that the State may not “deny, restrict, interfere with, or discriminate against an individual’s exercise of the fundamental rights set forth in this Act.”
Some interpret the statute as allowing abortion up until birth for any reason as it does not contain language pertaining to limitations, and would eliminate language from the current law that prohibits abortion past the point of viability unless “in the medical judgment of the attending or referring physician, based on the particular facts of the case before him, it is necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.”
It additionally allows for non-physicians, such as advanced practice registered nurses or physicians assistants, to perform abortions, listing them generally as “health care professionals.”
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