House Approves Abortion Law Rewrite, 64-50-4

State Capitol, May 28, 2019 – The Illinois House voted to approve a rewrite of the laws regulating abortion. Supporters of the bill say this is to preserve abortion rights for a time, that they say is coming, when Roe v Wade will be overturned. The final vote had six Democrats joining with Republicans to oppose the bill, but supporters still had enough for passage.

Rep Bourne (R), pregnant with her first child, handles questioning of the Sponsor for Republicans during the first hour.

Here is the link to the second hour of floor debate on Abortion.

During the debate, it became clear there were disagreements as to the fundamental meaning of certain provisions, and to what extent this bill, SB-25, would change existing law. Terms within the bill remain vague, as Rep Avery Bourne (R), who handled the questioning on the Republican side sought to resolve specific definitions from the bill sponsor, Rep Kelly Cassidy (D).

At times the debate became emotional, with Rep Avery Bourne (R), who is going to have her first child within weeks, her voice cracking at times as she addressed the chamber. Yet despite obvious raw emotions held by many members, each side went out of its way to remain respectful, with no recriminations cast by either side of the aisle. 

Rep Kelly Cassidy (D) sponsored SB-25 in the House

Yet Bourne, doing her best to uncover just what the intentions were of specific portions of the legislation in her questioning of Rep Kelly Cassidy (D), the bill sponsor, was obviously frustrated by Cassidy’s rote response to many questions – insisting over and over that the bill just codified current standards into law. 

Democrats repeatedly made the point this was needed to counter the movement by other states and the Trump Administration, to limit availability for abortions.  They noted nine states had recently restricted access to abortions, and just prior to the start of the House debate, it was reported that the last Planned Parenthood abortion clinic in Missouri had only three more days to have their license renewed or they would be forced to close.  Missouri just recently enacted a law that prohibits abortions after eight weeks. 

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