A controversial measure to expand legal abortion in Illinois is on its way to the Governor’s desk. Senate Bill 25, which critics say goes much further than simply keeping abortion legal in Illinois, passed the Senate on May 31.
Proponents of the measure framed it as necessary to protect legal abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade were to be overturned at the federal level. However, as opponents pointed out, the measure went far beyond this simple mission, massively expanding what would be allowed in Illinois.
Among the provisions of concern was one that would establish abortion as a “fundamental right” in Illinois. A fundamental right, which in this case would be created by statute instead of being part of the state’s constitution, could supersede any statute on the books and could overturn any restrictions currently in place for abortions including parental notification for a minor girl seeking an abortion, late-term abortions, and sex-selective abortions.
Opponents also pointed out that Senate Bill 25 did not need to become law in Illinois to protect abortion rights. Under House Bill 40, which was signed into law in 2017, abortions would remain legal in Illinois even if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned.
The legislation passed the Senate on a partisan roll call and now heads to the Governor’s desk to be signed.