‘Dark day’: Illinois governor signs abortion bill far worse than New York’s

partial-birth abortion

UPDATE, 6/12/19: Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law this morning a bill that has been called worse than New York’s Reproductive Health Act, signed into law on January 22 of this year. Pritzker said of the new law, “If you believe in standing up for women’s fundamental rights, Illinois is a beacon of hope in the heart of this nation,” and “We proudly proclaim that we trust women.”

Jill Stanek, national campaign chair for the pro-life Susan B. Anthony List (misidentified by the Sun-Times as an “abortion-rights nonprofit), had it right when she told the Chicago Sun-Times, “… Illinois is trying to outdo New York’s abortion extremism – and unborn children and their mothers will pay the price,” adding, “Americans of every political persuasion are appalled by these attempts to expand abortion on demand through the moment of birth and even infanticide, and that in turn is driving pro-life momentum around the country. There is no pride or glory in being the most extreme pro-abortion state in the nation.”

The state already had among the most liberal abortion laws in the nation. The new Illinois RHA does away with things the state’s ban on partial-birth abortion, ends the need for licensing abortion facilities by the state, allows non-physicians to commit abortions, and allows for abortion at any time, for any reason, including for reasons of “health” which may include “physical, emotional, psychological, familial” or any other type of “health” the abortionist will accept. And abortionists have made clear that they believe the very state of being pregnant and not wanting to be is reason enough to commit an abortion.

A separate bill yet to be passed (HB2467) would do away with the parental notification of minors. [Correction, 7/5/19: update originally stated that the RHA (HB2495) did away with this. It is the second bill listed below which would undo this law.]

UPDATE, 5/31/19: The Illinois Senate has passed SB 25, and Governor J.B. Pritzker has announced his intention to sign the bill.

5/28/19: Today, the Illinois House passed a bill even more extreme than New York’s Reproductive Health Act, passed in January — and it includes a repeal of a ban on gruesome D&X, or “partial-birth” abortions.

Remember New York? Remember Virginia? That’s what started all of the ‘abortion wars’ among the states. And yet, the Illinois bill’s sponsor, Rep. Kelly Cassidy, claimed, “To our neighbors in Illinois who hear the news around the country and worry that this war on women is coming to Illinois, I say, not on my watch. To the people in Missouri and Alabama and Georgia and Kentucky and Mississippi and Ohio, I say, not on my watch.”

Someone should remind Rep. Cassidy that this war didn’t start with Alabama or Georgia or Missouri. (Indeed, even the Chicago Sun-Times notes that this extreme pro-abortion legislation was introduced in February of this year.) The flurry pro-life legislation came in reaction to New York’s extreme legislation, passed by a Democrat-controlled legislature who wanted to “codify Roe,” in the words of New York Governor Andrew Cuomo.

But Illinois’ legislation is inherently worse. According to a previous report by Live Action News’ Cassy Fiano-Chesser, the two bills introduced by Illinois lawmakers would “make the state’s abortion laws even more extreme than New York’s”:

HB 2495 and would virtually eliminate all protections for preborn children, allow infanticide, remove conscience protection laws for health care workers, allow taxpayer funding for abortion, and more. HB 2467 would repeal the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995, making it so that minors can obtain abortions without parental notification. The bills are so extreme that thousands of citizens flooded the Illinois state capitol building in protest….

The bill also repeals the state’s ban on partial-birth abortion. One nurse, after witnessing a D&X partial-birth abortion in the 1990’s, said:

… [H]e went in with forceps and grabbed the baby’s legs and brought them into the birth canal. Then he delivered the body and arms, all the way up to the neck.

At this point, only the baby’s head was still inside. The baby’s body was moving. His little fingers were clasping together. He was kicking his feet. All the while his little head was still stuck inside. Then Dr. Haskell took a pair of scissors and inserted them into the back of the baby’s head. Then he stuck a high-powered suction tube into the hole and sucked the baby’s brains out. I almost threw up as I watched him do these things.

Next, Dr. Haskell delivered the baby’s head, cut the umbilical cord and delivered the placenta. He threw the baby in a pan, along with the placenta and the instruments he’d used. I saw the baby move in the pan. I asked another nurse and she said it was just “reflexes.”

READ: Thousands flood Illinois Capitol to protest extreme pro-abortion bills

On the House floor, expectant mother Rep. Avery Bourne tearfully pleaded for babies’ lives before the bill passed. The Sun Times writes:

“We are talking about the most expansive bill we have seen in this state,” Bourne said in tears, surrounded by her female Republican colleagues. “We already know that we’ve got women coming to Illinois to have abortions because we are so expansive on this issue. That will continue. This bill is not about keeping abortion legal in Illinois. This is about a massive expansion that will impact viable babies. And that is wrong.”

As you can see from the video below, when Rep. Bourne sought to question bill sponsor Rep. Kelly Cassidy, Cassidy’s answer to nearly every question — when she wasn’t stonewalling — was, “This treats abortion care like any other health care.” In other words, the legislation completely ignores what abortion actually is and does. Abortion kills a human being.


Abortion isn’t just like any other health care. In fact, it isn’t health care at all. It is never necessary to deliberately kill another human to treat or save another.


A press release from Illinois Right to Life Action noted, “According to legal analysis of SB 25 [the bill just passed by the House], the radical legislation maintains the core elements of the so-called Reproductive Health Act (HB 2495) and lays the groundwork for the repeal of Illinois Parental Notification (HB 2467).” In addition, it “expressly strips all rights from unborn children, changes the definition of viability, and legalizes abortions through all nine months of pregnancy, up to the moment of birth, for any reason. Any restrictions or regulations on abortion are effectively eliminated.”

According to a legal analysis from the Thomas More Society’s Peter Breen, the bill would “remove any penalty for performing late-term abortions, allow nurses to perform medication abortions, and eliminate licensing and health and safety inspections of abortion clinics” and “would strip all rights from unborn children and wipe nearly every abortion regulation off the books in Illinois, subjecting any that remain to a court challenge under a near-impossible-to-meet ‘strict scrutiny’ standard.”

READ: Vague 911 call: Woman suffers ‘complications’ at unlicensed Illinois abortion facility

Breen adds that even very young minors would be able to obtain abortions without parental notice (and that parental notice law currently on the books in Illinois is estimated to have decreased abortion rates among minors by 57%), all Illinois insurance would be forced to cover abortion procedures, all licensing requirements for abortion facilities would be removed, and much more.

The Pro-Life Action League posted on Facebook, “It’s a dark day in Illinois. The House of Representatives just passed the most extreme pro-abortion law in the country, 64-50. Here’s how the reps voted.”

Editor’s Note, 6/1/19: Added nurse’s eyewitness description of a D&X partial-birth abortion.

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