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Abortion Bill Will Be Heard: Cassidy

Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois
Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat, announced Thursday that her abortion legislation will be heard after being stalled for months.

State Representative Kelly Cassidy said Thursday that she’s received a pledge from House Speaker Mike Madigan that her expansive abortion legislative will be heard.

That bill would lift provisions that would make performing abortions illegal if Roe. V. Wade is overturned. The bill would also require private insurers to cover abortion if they already cover pregnancy-related expenses.

“I am grateful to my colleagues who have helped to press this issue to the point where we had a pretty productive caucus yesterday and a  pledge from the Speaker that we will be able to move the ball forward.,'' Cassidy said at a Progressive Caucus press conference. "So, I am looking forward to advancing this bill and getting it over to the Senate, and putting in place some very, very real protections for reproductive freedom and Illinois.”

The bill was introduced in February but was stalled until now.

A spokesman for House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said his caucus remains unified in its opposition the Reproductive Health Act.

Last week, after Alabama’s governor signed the most restrictive abortion bill in the country, Missouri joined states that have passed so-called etal heart beat laws. They effectively bar abortion after approximately eight weeks of pregnancy. 

“As opponents of reproductive freedom around the country have stepped up their attacks on our access to reproductive health care, it has become very, very clear that Illinois must respond in kind with equal energy behind defending reproductive freedom," Cassidy said.

Maureen Foertsch McKinney is lead editor of Illinois Issues' feature articles, working with freelance writers, and covering the equity beat. Maureen joined the Illinois Issues in 1998 as projects editor. Previously, she worked at three Illinois daily newspapers, most recently the suburban Chicago-based Daily Herald, where she served stints as an education reporter and copy editor. She graduated in 1985 with a bachelor's in journalism. She also has a master's degree in English from the University of Illinois at Springfield.
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