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SimmonsSPRINGFIELD – A measure supported by State Senator Simmons that advances protection to abortion and gender-affirming care passed the Senate on Tuesday, January 10. 

“The Supreme Court’s overturning of a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion has denied millions the right to choose, as well as transgender and non-binary people’s right to health care,” said Simmons (D-Chicago). “While Illinois has worked hard to enshrine abortion and gender-affirming rights, many other states are working to strip those rights away. This legislation will ensure Illinois is a safe place, where the reproductive rights and health care of millions of people – women of all backgrounds, transgender people, and nonbinary people - retain the right to make a decision about their own body.” 

While Illinois has some of the most extensive reproductive health laws about abortion and gender-affirming care in the country, more work had to be done to further enshrine protections in Illinois as many neighboring states have acted to diminish the rights of women, transgender youth, and the LGBTQ+ community broadly. With House Bill 4664, Illinois health care providers will not be able to be penalized for providing care, including abortion care and gender-affirming care that has been outlawed in another state but remains legal in Illinois, and people in Illinois won’t be punished for seeking reproductive health care or gender-affirming care that is lawful here. “There is a movement right now targeting trans youth, LGBTQ+ people, and women’s reproductive rights in our country. We must stay vigilant and pass strong, far-reaching legislation that protects women’s reproductive rights and protects access to gender-affirming care for transgender and non-binary people, and trans youth” said Simmons. 

The bill also protects the right to choose by establishing a counterclaim for individuals who have a judgment entered against them in another state for reproductive health care that is legal in Illinois, protecting in vitro fertilization, and permitting birthing centers to provide clinical reproductive care.

“We are taking prudent steps to ensure the right for individuals to make their own decisions about their bodies and health care,” Simmons said. “We have more work to do. I will continue to fight for those who are seeking abortions and gender-affirming care so they receive the necessary and often lifesaving health care that they need quickly and affordably. I will continue to be a staunch advocate and fight around the clock to ensure Illinois has the resources to provide reproductive health care for the countless medical refugees who will no doubt need to come to our state to receive it. We must make it clear that we will not allow the Supreme Court to undo hard-won generational rights.”

HB 4664 passed the Senate on January 10.

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