Rep. Andrade yet to comment on colleague's reported remark concerning his abortion bill
Illinois State House Rep. Jaime Andrade Jr. (D-Chicago) is co-sponsoring a major reproductive rights bill, but he has not responded to requests for comment about a Democratic colleague's reported suggestion that castration would solve the issue entirely.
Andrade, a co-sponsor of the Reproductive Health Act, House Bill 2495, which would repeal and replace Illinois' current abortion law and make abortion a fundamental right in the state, did not respond to Chicago City Wire's requests for comment. HB 2495 is widely seen as a hedge against the possible overturning of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v Wade decision, and its passage seems likely.
Andrade has represented the 40th State House District since he was appointed to the seat by Democratic ward committeemen in August 2013 to replace Rep. Deb Mell, who herself had been appointed to take the place of her father, Dick Mell, on Chicago City Council. Andrade, a former Dick Mell aide, was first elected to the seat in 2014 and has since been twice re-elected.
Illinois' 40th State House District is located entirely in Cook County and includes the Chicago-area neighborhoods of Leland, Belle Plaine, Parkview and Fletcher.
Andrade's lack of comment comes less than a week after Wayne Township Republican trustee Jackie Hayden published her account of a meeting in which state Rep. Diane Pappas (D-Itasca) suggested to a DuPage County pro-life group that castration would be a way to reduce the number of abortions in Illinois.
Hayden reported that Pappas said, "You know, ladies, with technology the way it is, we wouldn't have an abortion problem if we applied a plan. Now, I've been told it's a bit radical, but if we allowed men to be castrated, took the sperm to the bank, collected tax dollars on it for storage, then when it's time, to have the man decide he's ready to begin a family . . . well, then the problem is solved!"
Hayden said Pappas made the comment when Hayden and "a group of concerned citizens" met with Pappas at the lawmaker's district office in Bloomingdale in April to discuss HB 2495. HB 2495, which Hayden said would make Illinois the least restrictive abortion state in the nation, is in the House Rules Committee.
Hayden's recollections about what Pappas allegedly said were published on the Wayne County Republican Organization's website and as an op-ed piece in DuPage Policy Journal. The story has attracted little attention outside of conservative publications in Illinois.
Pappas, a freshman lawmaker who defeated Republican incumbent Christine Winger in November to take over the state House 45th District seat, has not responded to requests for additional comment following publication of Hayden's allegations.
The 45th district is located in northern DuPage County and includes all or parts of Addison, Bartlett, Bloomingdale, Carol Stream, Hanover Park, Itasca, Medinah, Roselle, Wayne, West Chicago, and Wood Dale.