Illinois and Nevada approve abortion bills that remove restrictions, criminal penalties

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While a wave of Republican-led states have recently pushed laws restricting abortion, Illinois and Nevada moved legislation forward Friday aimed at removing restrictions and criminal penalties surrounding abortion proceedures.

Illinois

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois Legislature has sent Senate Bill 25, also called the Reproductive Health Act, to the governor’s desk. The measure passed the Illinois Democratic-led Senate late Friday with a 34-20 vote. Only one Democrat voted against the bill, and Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker has said he will sign the legislation.

Under the bill, pregnant women have the “fundamental right” to have an abortion and a “fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights.”

It repeals the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, which penalized doctors for performing the procedure, and the state’s ban on partial-birth abortions. The bill also provides insurance requirements to cover abortion procedures.

The bill will immediately take effect once the governor signs it into law.

“Today was a major step forward for every woman in this state and I look forward continuing my work as an ally by signing the Reproductive Healthcare Act into law,” Pritzker wrote in tweet on Tuesday.

Nevada

CARSON CITY, Nev. — In Nevada on Friday, Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak signed the “Trust Nevada Women Act,” Senate Bill 179, which removes long-standing criminal penalties for abortion and requirements for medical providers.

The new law decriminalizes certain actions related to performing abortions, abortion drugs and abortion prosecution. It rewrites existing state abortion laws that require physicians to notify a pregnant woman about the “emotional implications” of an abortion, instead requiring doctors “describe the nature and consequences of the procedure.”

Physicians in the state would also no longer have to certify in writing a pregnant woman’s marital status and age before performing an abortion as previous laws required.

“In light of increasing attacks at the federal level and in other states such as Georgia, Alabama, Missouri, and Louisiana, SB179 reaffirms Nevada’s commitment to protecting reproductive freedom and access to reproductive health care,” Sisolak said Friday.

Sisolak also signed Senate Bill 94, which allocates $6 million in funding for statewide family planning grants.

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