On Tuesday, the Illinois Agriculture Committee voted 13-0 to approve a bill requiring abortion clinics to be retrofitted to comply with the standards for outpatient surgery centers. The bill, sponsored by Darlene Senger (R-Naperville), would require clinics to be equipped with defibrillators and ventilators and would impose new restrictions on hallway and parking lot dimensions.
Abortion-rights activists attended the Committee vote wearing shirts and buttons saying, “Women are not livestock.” Colleen Connell, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Illinois, clarified, “The voters of Illinois do not endorse this radical agenda. Voters recently rejected a gubernatorial candidate with a solid, anti-abortion record because they want the state’s leadership to focus on fixing the budget and creating jobs.”
These regulations will significantly and unnecessarily increase the cost of abortions and will make it more difficult to get an abortion in Illinois. According to the ACLU of Illinois, abortion services are currently not available in over 90 percent of the counties in Illinois. Reproductive rights groups, including the Feminist Majority, the National Partnership for Women and Families, and the American Civil Liberties Union oppose the bill, which would impose unnecessary and onerous regulations on abortion providers and restrict women’s access to reproductive health services.