Illinois House to take up bill loosening abortion restrictions

Illinois House to take up bill loosening abortion restrictions
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A bill loosening restrictions on abortion cleared a Illinois House committee Sunday and will now be debated in front of the full body, ABC's Chicago affiliate reported.

The Reproductive Health Act (RHA) was approved along party lines in the state's Human Services Committee, where it had been stalled for months.

The legislation would repeal both the state's Partial Birth Abortion Ban Act and the Illinois Abortion Act of 1975.

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Repealing those two laws would lessen restrictions on abortions later in pregnancy and remove criminal penalties for physicians that perform them.

The new bill would also expand insurance coverage for procedures and contraception.

"RHA codifies our existing practices and — and this is critical — treats abortion care just like any other health care, because it is," state Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D), the bill's sponsor, said, per ABC.

The bill to expand abortion access comes amid a slew of bills in Republican-controlled states to constrict it.

Kentucky and Georgia have passed bills that ban abortion once a fetal heartbeat is detected, around six weeks of pregnancy, while Alabama recently passed the strictest abortion law in the country, banning the procedure with few exceptions.