Illinois state Sen. Bill Cunningham (D-18) on May 31 voted "present" on a measure that will bring sweeping changes to the state’s abortion laws, signaling his refusal to take sides.
Signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker on June 12, the Reproductive Health Act will make abortions a fundamental right, repealing the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, including eliminating waiting periods, the requirement for spousal consent, certain restrictions on where abortions can be performed and criminal penalties for doctors who perform abortions. The measure also states that a “fertilized egg, embryo or fetus does not have independent rights.”
Critics of the bill such as Illinois Right to Life claim the bill goes too far and “jeopardizes enforcement of the parental notice of abortion act.”
District 18 includes all or parts of Orland, Worth, and Palos Townships in the Southwest Cook County suburbs and the neighborhoods of Mount Greenwood, Beverly, Morgan Park and Auburn-Gresham in Chicago.