SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Elgie R. Sims, Jr. – a longstanding advocate of protecting a person’s right to reproductive health care – supported a measure today that further enshrines those rights for Illinoisans. 011023HAO00576

“The ability to make decisions and be able to access health care is fundamental to gender equity, equality and justice,” said Sims (D-Chicago). “Through this legislation, we are ensuring all people have access to the reproductive health care they need while protecting our health care workers from the overarching hands of anti-choice states.”

While Illinois already has some of the most extensive reproductive health laws in the country on the books, many neighboring states have severely diminished people’s rights and have threatened to intrude upon the rights of those in other states.

Through House Bill 4644, that can’t happen. Illinois health care providers will not be able to be penalized for providing care that is illegal in another state but legal in Illinois, and people in Illinois won’t be punished for seeking reproductive health care that is lawful here.

The measure also calls for a number of other avenues to protect choice, including protecting in vitro fertilization, creating grants to provide abortion training, clarifying advance practice nurses can perform abortions, and more.

“This is about protecting people’s personal decisions – people should be able to control their own bodies and destinies,” said Sims. “Gender equity and reproductive rights go hand-and-hand.”

House Bill 4644 passed the Senate Tuesday.