abortion

Rebecca Anzel / Capitol News Illinois

Last week, the Thomas More Society filed a lawsuit that says the year-old Reproductive Health Act requires employers to pay for coverage of abortion against their will.  The suit says unless the act is declared unlawful and enforcement of it is forbidden, plaintiffs will continue to “suffer irreparable injury."

Maureen Foertsch McKinney / NPR Illinois

The conservative Thomas More Society this week filed a lawsuit that in effect charges Illinois’ Reproductive Health Act violates the right to freedom of religion by forcing employers to pay for abortions.

Olivia Mitchell / NPR Illinois

Illinois officials say the state should be doing more to level the playing field for women and girls. A council working toward that goal released its first annual report today. 

graphic for the 2019 installment of the voices in the news feature
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

As we close the book on 2019, we thought we’d take a few minutes to listen back to what has been a most consequential year in Illinois government and politics. From novice politicians taking power to a flood of major legislation, these are some of the voices that made news in 2019.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

It would be difficult to overstate how consequential the past year was in Illinois government and politics. This week on State Week, the panel looks back at some of the top stories of 2019.

Cynthia Buckley and students / Univesity of Illinois Urbana Champaign

Nationwide, the abortion rate has been declining since the 1980s, but Illinois has recorded a smaller drop than our neighboring states.

Plannned Parenthood

*The city of Fairview Heights in southwestern Illinois has drawn national attention for the stealthily built Planned Parenthood Clinic that will open there later this month.

The 18,000-square-foot clinic will dwarf another one that  Planned Parenthood already operates in Fairview Heights, about a dozen miles from downtown St. Louis.  That site only provides medication abortions and other medical treatments.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

More details come out about FBI raids on the home and offices of state Sen. Martin Sandoval. The Legislative inspector general is out with two reports about sexual harassment under House Speaker Michael Madigan's watch. And Planned Parenthood has been secretly building a new facility in Illinois near St. Louis.

The Rev. Edward Ohm speaks to an anti-abortion gathering Wednesday in the rotunda of the Illinois Statehouse.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

A small gathering of anti-abortion activists prayed in the Illinois Capitol Building Wednesday. It comes as lawmakers are considering whether to further relax the state’s abortion laws.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Republicans are lining up to try to reclaim the seats won by freshmen U.S. Reps. Sean Casten and Lauren Underwood, there are fights over a suburban business emitting a cancer-causing chemical, the feds are inching up on the speaker, and more.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker this week signed a bill to make what he and activists say is the most progressive abortion-rights law in the country. But could Democrats risk a backlash by going too far? And what are they targeting next?

Governor J.B. Pritzker signed the most comprehensive abortion law in the land.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly ended its spring legislative session last weekend, passing what some are calling the most productive session in a generation.

Gov. J.B. Pritzer flanked by senators at a news conference
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The Illinois General Assembly finally finished its annual legislative session this weekend, with lawmakers approving item after item on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s agenda.

Observers and participants are calling it one of the most significant sessions in living memory.

Rep. Kelly Cassidy and Sen. Melinda Bush
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Legislation meant to protect abortion rights if Roe v. Wade is overturned is headed to the governor’s desk.

Speaker Madigan watching a roll call on the electronic display board.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

The usual May 31st deadline for the Illinois General Assembly passed last night, but lawmakers are not yet done with their work.

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Brian Mackey

Note: The show was taped during the noon hour on Friday, while debate and negotiations at the Statehouse were still ongoing.

On the final day of the Regular Legislative Session, lawmakers continued to work on finalizing the state budget, along with votes still to come on a constitutional amendment to switch Illinois to a graduated income tax, legalization of marijuana, expansion of gambling, and abortion legislation.  WTTW's Amanda Vinicky joins the panel.

House Speaker Michael Madigan makes a rare visit to the House floor
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Friday is the last day of the Illinois General Assembly’s scheduled spring legislative session, and lawmakers still have a long list of things to do.

Rep. Kelly Cassidy watched as the Reproductive Health Act passes.
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

After a long and unusually emotional debate in the Illinois House Tuesday, lawmakers approved legislation aimed at keeping abortion legal in Illinois, regardless of what happens in other states or Washington, D.C.

Kelly Cassidy testifies with Dr. Tabatha Wells of Planned Parenthood and Colleen Connell of the ACLU of Illinois
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Late Sunday night, Illinois Democrats advanced legislation meant to protect abortion rights in case Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Maureen McKinney / NPR Illinois

The Alabama legislature approved some of the most restrictive abortion rules in the country this week. A group of lawmakers wants to make Illinois the most progressive state.

Seventy-five women dressed in long red robes and white bonnets gathered at the capitol Wednesday. They represent characters from the dystopian Margaret Atwood novel and recent television series The Handmaid’s Tale.

 Should minors have to tell their parents or a judge when they want to terminate a pregnancy?

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Brian Mackey

This week, rallies at the statehouse over gun rights and abortion; still more questions about legalized sports betting; and despite the launch of a new awreness campaign, another State Trooper killed by a semi-trailer on the highway.

Maureen McKinney / NPR Illinois

Cardinal Blase Cupich and Illinois’ bishops gathered in Springfield today to oppose changes to the state’s abortion laws.

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Brian Mackey

Among the subjects discussed this week: medical and recreational marijuana, an anti-abortion rally at the capitol building, Illinois' teacher shortage, and legalizing sports gambling.

Jaclyn Driscoll / NPR Illinois

Hundreds of anti-abortion protestors filled the Capitol rotunda today following the passage of a measure that would repeal parental notification of abortion.

Meanwhile, a group of Republican lawmakers are speaking out against legislation intended to expand abortion rights throughout Illinois.

State Representative Terri Bryant, a Republican from Murphysboro, also spoke out against another proposal being considered that would completely overhaul abortion throughout the state. 

Illinois House Democratic Caucus

Illinois could become the most progressive state in the nation on abortion rights if a proposed bill is approved this year.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. J.B. Pritzker spent his second week in office taking actions to signal his support of progressive causes.

Peter Breen
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Anti-abortion groups are once again going before the Illinois Supreme Court.

They're trying to block last year’s new law allowing state government to pay for abortions.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

All four candidates for governor shared a stage this week for the first of three televised debates. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and his Democratic challenger, J.B. Pritzker, picked up right where their mudslinging TV ads left off.

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