The votes this past week in Georgia and Alabama to turn the clock back on women’s reproductive rights were outrageous.
As I said in previous posts, the anti-choice forces see the current moment as their opportunity and they are going for it.
If you were like me and thought that Illinois was an abortion rights sanctuary state as a result of our legislature passing and Governor Rauner signing HB40 then you would be wrong.
You may recall that when Governor Rauner signed HB40, the right-wing went friggin’ nuts. It was likely the straw that got the crazy Jeanne Ives to nearly fatally challenge him in the Republican primary.
I checked with State Representative Kelly Cassidy about HB40. If the SCOTUS reversed Roe would Illinois still retain a woman’s right to choose and did it preserve women’s reproductive rights in Illinois?
“The short answer is no,” Cassidy told me. “HB40 repealed the trigger law that would have automatically criminalized abortion, plus added Medicaid and state insurance coverage for the service.”
But that is not enough.
Which is why Cassidy is a lead co-sponsor of HB 2495, the Reproductive Health Act.
“The RHA does a few things,” Cassidy explained to me. “Most significant is the perception you shared that HB40 has solved everything.”
Yep. That’s what I thought.
“Over the years as bad laws have passed and we have prevailed in court, those statutes remain on the books but are enjoined by court action. Once the decision that the injunction is based on is reversed, our opponents can go into court to have the injunction lifted. This is the premise I’ve talked about. These laws will rise from the dead like zombies. Criminal penalties for doctors are still on the books, waiting periods, spousal consent, oppressive regulations on clinics, and on and on.”
Cassidy added that, “Finally, the reality is that having this procedure regulated under the criminal code rather than in the same area of the statutes as other health care procedures is beyond ridiculous and would be corrected by this bill.”
Here is the problem. The bill is still in committee. There are only two weeks left in the legislative session.
It hasn’t even been introduced in the Senate.
Will the actions in Alabama, Georgia and other states spur action by Democratic leaders in the Illinois General Assembly to act?
I don’t know.
Have you contacted your state rep?