'Illinois is already the abortion capital of the Midwest,' Pro-Life advocate says
Gov. J.B. Pritzker and his Democratic party allies in the General Assembly are making good on a vow to make Illinois "the most progressive state" for abortion with legislation to remove all vestiges of regulation, a pro-life advocate said during a recent interview.
"The two bills that Gov. Pritzker is pushing for serve Planned Parenthood and the unregulated Illinois abortion industry," Pro-Life Action League Executive Director Eric J. Scheidler told Prairie State Wire. "Illinois is already the abortion capital of the Midwest, but Pritzker is pushing for even fewer checks on abortion in our state. This is obviously horrible for unborn children but also dangerous for women. The only ones to benefit are the abortion industry and their political ally, Gov. Pritzker."
The aggressive legislation "is opportunism," Scheidler said, referring to the 1973 landmark and still highly divisive U.S. Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade.
"Pro-abortion legislators across the country are playing on fears that Roe v. Wade will be overturned to push for much more radical pro-abortion legislation," Scheidler said. "The actual chances of an outright reversal of Roe are remote and there is zero chance of abortion becoming illegal in Illinois even if Roe is overturned. But the ACLU, Planned Parenthood and Gov. Pritzker are exploiting those fears to expand abortion in our state."
Scheidler's comments came shortly after an ACLU of Illinois press conference earlier this week about two bills in the Illinois General Assembly, the Reproductive Health Act and legislation aimed at repealing Illinois's Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995.
"The introduction of these bills follows the release of a report from Governor Pritzker's Equality, Equity, and Opportunities transition team," the ACLU of Illinois said in an announcement that accompanied the press conference. "The report reads in part: 'The new administration should take action to keep abortion safe, legal, and accessible in Illinois. It should work with lawmakers to repeal the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 and the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995 and replace it with legislation that keeps abortion safe, legal, and accessible.'"
The legislation builds on HB 40, the state-taxpayer-funded-abortion bill Gov. Bruce Rauner signed in 2017, and "affirms the right of all people to have full access to reproductive health care in a post Roe world," the announcement said.
On Jan. 22, the 46th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, Pritzker signed an executive order strengthening HB 40 and vowed that Illinois "will be the most progressive state in the nation when it comes to guaranteeing women's reproductive rights."
Pritzker's executive order, along with the bills in the General Assembly, does not protect women, Scheidler said.
"On the contrary, it endangers women," he said. "We see ambulances outside Illinois abortion facilities all the time. But because our state laws shield abortion providers from public scrutiny, we have no hard data on how dangerous abortion really is in this state. These bills only make it easier for unscrupulous abortion providers to prey on women, especially the minor women and girls that Pritzker and Planned Parenthood want to be able to get abortions without informing their parents."
Repealing parental notification will cause abortion rates to rise in Illinois, Scheidler said.
"Teens very often overestimate how upset their parents will be if they find out about their minor daughter's pregnancy," he said. "They seek abortion to keep the pregnancy secret without giving their parents the opportunity to find another solution, building on their greater experience and adult perspective."