Discussion about abortion heats up in Springfield

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ROCKFORD (WREX) — A controversial issue is heating up in Springfield as some lawmakers look to ease restrictions to abortions in Illinois.

The measures are re-igniting the debate over a woman’s right to choose and the right to life in Illinois.

One bill would require all private health insurance companies to provide coverage for all abortions. It would also loosen restrictions on where abortions could be performed and who could perform them.

Another bill would no longer require guardian notification when a minor wants an abortion.

These are issues that have people on both sides of the issue sounding off.

“We need to pass a law that makes sure that everyone will still have the ability to make those personal health care decisions,” Brigid Leahy, with Planned Parenthood of Illinois says.

“There are a couple of proposals out there that are pretty striking, pretty extreme proposals especially for folks that are pro life,” Rep. Tom Demmer, R-Dixon says.

One of those bills would get rid of a requirement to notify parents if a minor wants to have an abortion. Planned Parenthood of Illinois, an organization lobbying for that bill, says the current law creates a barrier for young women who want to have that procedure done.

“If they can’t trust a parent, if they feel they are in danger, then their only alternative is to go before a judge,” Leahy says.

Planned Parenthood of Illinois goes on to say its found those young women often confide in a parent or trusted adult with or without the current law.

However, Demmer says the law is there for a reason. It’s to reassure women have a support system throughout the process.

“This is a very difficult decision for anybody to go through and this is something that’s going to have an impact on the life of the unborn child as well as the mother and really the family around them,” Demmer says.

More discussion about this bill is set to happen days from now as it passed the Senate Public Health Committee. Sen. Steve Stadelman, D-Rockford, sits on that Public Health Committee.

He told 13 News he voted in favor of that bill to move it to the full Senate for more debate.

The Diocese of Rockford shared this statement from the Catholic Conference of Illinois saying, “Current law makes it illegal for minors in Illinois to use an indoor tanning bed; buy cigarettes, alcohol or lottery tickets; or vote in an election. Are we to believe abortion is somehow less consequential than getting a tan?”

Andi TenBarge

Andi TenBarge


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