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By Steven Ertelt, LifeNews, June 1, 2019

SPRINGFIED, ILIllinois could follow New York in approving legislation legalizing abortions up to birth. The Illinois state House rushed through a controversial pro-abortion bill that would legalize abortions for basically any reason up to birth.

And late Friday the state Senate passed the bill SB 25 on a 34-20 vote with three abstentions.

Mary Kate Knorr of Illinois Right to Life Action told LifeNews that Illinois residents need to flood Governor Pritzker’s office with calls and emails urging him to veto the bill.

“It’s no surprise that the Illinois Senate followed in lockstep with the House and forced this extreme and unpopular legislation through the process at the very last second,” she said. “The people of Illinois spoke on this issue back in March when 4,000 protesters brought the Capitol to max capacity and 18,000 witness slips were filed in opposition to these bills in committee.”

“But, if there’s anything we’ve learned this week, it’s that Illinois politicians don’t care about what their constituents want – they have made that resoundingly clear,” she said.

The last hope to stop the bill is to contact Governor Pritzker.

“We need to tell Governor Pritzker what the people of Illinois want. Let’s flood the Governor’s office with phone calls and emails, urging him NOT to sign SB 25,” Knoff told LifeNews.

You can call the Governor’s Springfield office at 217-782-6830 or 217-782-6831. You can call his Chicago office at 312-814-2121. You can email the Governor by filling out and submitting this form here.

The legislation prompted massive protests earlier this year. In March, so many pro-life advocates filled the capitol to rally against the bill that police had to close the building due to overcrowding. Since then, state lawmakers have been sitting on the legislation.

But last week, pro-lifers learned that pro-abortion Democrats planned to push through the bill before the end of the legislative session.

Rep. Kelly Cassidy “gutted and replaced” Senate Bill 25 by taking provisions from her controversial Reproductive Health Act and putting them in a new bill. That bill passed the committee after a lengthy debate Sunday night and the House approved it today.

The Thomas More Society described the bill as “the most radical piece of abortion legislation that has ever been introduced in Illinois.” If it passes, it would create a “fundamental right” to abortion and prevent the state from interfering in any way with the killing of unborn babies. It would erase criminal penalties for performing abortions and allow non-doctors to do them. The legislation also would repeal the partial-birth abortion ban, abortion clinic regulations and conscience protections for medical workers.

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In addition, it would require every health insurance plan to cover abortions, including late-term abortions, without any exemptions for people with religious or moral objections.

“This bill remains the most radically pro-abortion measure of its kind and would make Illinois an abortion destination for the country,” said Peter Breen, a former Illinois representative and Thomas More Society vice president and senior counsel.

He said the newly amended bill is even more “barbarous” than the original bill because it does not really limit late-term abortions. It defines “viability” to exclude many babies who now can survive prematurely and “health” exceptions for late-term abortions to include basically anything, Breen said.

“This bill creates a ‘fundamental right’ for abortion, with the strongest protections in law, above even the First Amendment right to Free Speech,” he said. “Abortion would become the primary and principal right in Illinois, above all others.”

A second bill would repeal the state parental notification law, which requires underage girls to inform at least one parent before she has an abortion.

Democrats control both state houses, and Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker likely will sign the bill if it reaches his desk.

“The governor is a lifelong advocate for a women’s right to choose and with recent attacks on access to reproductive health care across the country, the governor applauds the House for taking an important step toward sending him a bill that will protect women’s rights in Illinois,” a spokesperson for the governor told the Sun-Times on Sunday.

Illinois Republican party chairman Tim Schneider said the legislation was reflective of the Democratic party’s recent embrace of abortion extremism.

“In just a few short years, the Democrat party in Illinois went from advocating ‘safe, legal and rare’ to abortion on-demand, at any time, for any reason, and funded by taxpayers,” he said in a statement. “This is not the typical pro-life vs. pro-choice debate I have been accustomed to in my lifetime. The RHA goes much further.”