cpz choiceSPRINGFIELD – Following the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the subsequent revocation of basic human rights across many states, State Senator Cristina H. Pacione-Zayas is proud to champion new legislation protecting people who seek reproductive health care in Illinois, supporting reproductive health care providers, and making procedures and medicine more accessible.

“Nobody should have to make decisions impacting their health out of fear—especially when access to health care, including reproductive health care, is a fundamental right,” Senator Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago) said. “With this law, people will be able to make decisions on how to take care of their bodies based on what is best for them – not out of fear of being criminalized.”  

House Bill 4664 would protect legal and practical access to abortion care in Illinois following the U.S. Supreme Court’s overturning of Roe v. Wade. With this legislation, people who use reproductive health care in Illinois would be protected from out-of-state subpoenas related to reproductive health care, and would be eligible to file a counterclaim if a judgment is made against them in another state for reproductive health care that is legal in Illinois. These protections shield people who utilize reproductive health care in Illinois, where access to reproductive health care is a fundamental right.

Similarly, this bill would protect the licenses of health care professionals who are penalized for providing care that is illegal in another state but legal in Illinois. It would also expedite the process to receive temporary licenses for out-of-state health care professionals who wish to provide reproductive health care in Illinois, and would permit these licensees to offer telehealth care. These statues would support reproductive health care providers who face similar judgment from other states that do not recognize this health care in the same way.

This bill also makes reproductive health care more accessible to Illinoisians. It would expand access to long-acting reversible contraceptives to Medicaid patients. The legislation would require limited health service organizations, schools, municipalities and counties that offer health insurance plans to provide coverage for contraceptives and, if they offer pregnancy-related benefits, coverage for abortion. House Bill 4664 would also amend the definition of reproductive health care established in the Reproductive Health Act to include assisted reproductive technology, such as in vitro fertilization, to ensure this procedure is protected and seen as a fundamental right.

This legislation would also require health insurance plans to cover abortifacients, hormone therapy, and PEP/PrEP at no additional cost for patients. Many of these forms of health care are essential needs for members of the LGBTQIA+ community, especially people who are transgender, nonbinary, or seeking gender affirming health care. This statute will make this care much more accessible, improving the quality of life for members of this community.  

Additionally, the Illinois Department of Health would provide grants to underserved areas and transportation hubs for abortion training, ensuring these communities have access to safe and accessible reproductive health care. The Department would also establish a website to outline reproductive health resources so that residents can more easily understand the options available to them and make the most informed decision for their health. 

“I am encouraged that, when faced with these threats against human rights, Illinois is standing up as a bulwark of our basic liberties and needs. Reproductive health care is essential, life-saving care that impacts each and every one of us,” Pacione-Zayas said.  “I am proud that we are able to protect folks who are making the best decisions for their bodies, and the hardworking health care workers who are serving their community with their care.”

House Bill 4664 passed the Senate on January 10, 2023. It now goes to the House for further consideration.

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Pictured: Senator Pacione-Zayas speaking at a rally following the overturning of Roe v. Wade.

Category: Press Releases

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