By Dave Andrusko
Pro-lifers in Illinois face a decidedly uphill battle in a state controlled by pro-abortion Democrats, but turned out by the hundreds this week to oppose “the most radical piece of abortion legislation that has ever been introduced in Illinois.”
Organized by Effingham Area Right to Life, some 500 people packed the Effingham Event Center to protest a series of bills under which Illinois “Would Become Third-Trimester Abortion Destination and Underage Abortion Haven,” according to Peter Breen, Vice President and Senior Counsel for the Thomas More Society, and former Illinois House Minority Floor Leader.
Among many other features, the so-called Reproductive Health Care Act would repeal the state’s Partial-Birth Abortion Act , and the “Abortion Performance Refusal Act, which specifies that a medical professional who declines to recommend or perform an abortion procedure cannot be held liable for damages,” according to the Effingham Daily News.
But the impact of the bills goes far beyond that, according to Breen. They would
- Allow abortions for any reason throughout all nine months of pregnancy
- Eliminate any restrictions on where abortions may be performed
- Allow non-physicians, including nurses and physician assistants, to perform abortions, both surgical and medical
- Undermine and threaten institutional and individual rights of conscience
- Jeopardize any meaningful regulation of abortion clinics
- Require private health insurance policies to include coverage for all abortions, with no exemptions, even for churches and other religious organizations
- Eliminate any requirement to investigate fetal deaths or maternal deaths resulting from abortion
- Repeal law prohibiting “kickbacks” for abortion referrals
- Repeal the Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995, which has been responsible for a reduction of more than 55% in abortions among Illinois minors since 2012
Speakers at the gathering shared very personal stories about abortion and why the bills should be opposed, the Effingham Daily News reported
Christine McNary, 46, of Wheeler, shared her story.
“I was 19 and almost had an abortion but I chose life,” she said. “I wouldn’t have my son and two grandchildren if I hadn’t chose life.”
Attendee Michelle Delhaute McGowan, President of In His Hands Orphan Outreach. She said she attended because the proposed legislation greatly affects an orphan and adoption agency she runs.
“We’ve had women who were eight months pregnant when they came to us and both said they would have had an abortion but it was too late,” she said. “If these bills go through, other women in that situation will be able to abort these children that can survive outside of the womb.”
According to Rebecca Anzel, of Capitol News Illinois, passage of the legislation “would fulfill a promise by Gov. JB Pritzker to turn the Prairie State into ‘the most progressive state in the nation for access to reproductive health care.’”