Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Illinois Abortion Safety Law Moves in House

Illinois downstate conservative Democrat and Republican committee members unanimously passed a bill to the full House that would require any clinic performing more than 50 abortions per year to comply with safer hospital standards.

See related article: Catholic Leaders Lobby Against Abortion

UPDATE 5/10/11: Controlled by liberals, Illinois pro-life legislation has no chance

-- From "Ill. bill would require abortion facility upgrades" by The Associated Press 3/15/11

Ill. Legislation requiring Illinois abortion clinics to meet the same standards as hospital surgical facilities is headed to the House floor.

The bill's backers say more must be done to make sure all clinics that perform abortions are as safe as possible.

Opponents say state health law already covers abortion clinics and recognizes that they are different from full-scale operating rooms.

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From "Abortion bills pass out of committee, one tabled" by Andy Brownfield, The State Journal-Register 3/15/11

House Bill 3156, which passed unanimously out of committee, would require abortion clinics comply with the same regulations as outpatient surgical clinics.

House Bill 2093 would require licensed personnel who work in abortion clinics, such as doctors and nurses, to report any suspected child abuse to the Department of Children and Family Services.

Rep. Brandon Phelps, D-Harrisburg, decided not to call House Bill 1919, which would require abortion clinics to give a woman the opportunity to see an active ultrasound at least one hour before an abortion.

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From "Abortion bill passes state legislative panel — the Agriculture Committee" by Stephen Di Benedetto, Chicago Sun-Times 3/15/11

By a 13-0 vote, before a standing-room-only room of angry abortion-rights protestors clad in “Women are not livestock” T-shirts and buttons emblazoned with a cow, the panel advanced legislation putting new financial burdens on abortion clinics.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Darlene Senger (R-Naperville), would require abortion clinics to be retrofitted to resemble outpatient surgery centers, meaning equipment such as defibrillators and ventilators would be required for the first time while hallway and parking-lot dimensions would have to change.

The House Agriculture Committee, stocked mainly by socially conservative Democrats and Republicans from Downstate, has been the conduit to get guns-rights and anti-abortion legislation to the House floor for years — a fact critics of Senger’s bill zeroed in on.

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From "Abortion measure draws accusations, T-shirt slogans at Capitol" by Todd Wilson, Chicago Tribune 3/15/11

In Illinois, clinics that do hundreds of abortions a year fall through a “loophole” that allows them to operate under lesser standards than medical clinics that perform surgery, said Peter Breen, executive director of the Thomas More Society, which helped draft the legislation.

Colleen Connell, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, told the committee abortion clinics operate under different regulations. After a federal court ruled 20 years ago that a state law was applied in a “discriminatory fashion” against abortion clinics, the state developed separate regulations to comply with the court’s ruling, Connell said.

Many abortion clinics in the state will have to close if they can't afford to upgrade within the three-year time limit in the legislation, she said.

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