CHICAGO – When pro-abortion Cook County Board commissioners joined together to promote a bill that would make Illinois the most abortion-friendly state in the nation lat month, Commissioner Sean Morrison determined it would not face the whole Board without opposition.
Last Wednesday, when the resolution came before the Board's Legislation & Intergovernmental Committee, pro-lifers were on hand to object to the resolution, and they were effective enough to stall the resolution's progress.
"Because of the efforts of organized pro-life constituents who attended the committee meeting and gave passionate public testimony as well as the submittal of over 150 written letters of opposition from the pro-life community, those same commissioners lost their political will to move the item for passage to avoid being placed on the record as a YES vote," Morrison's office said in a statement. "They instead took a politically expedient way out by abruptly and unanimously moving to receive and file the resolution to avoid a vote."
Morrison said as a practicing Catholic, he was committed to standing for life, even though all of his colleagues staunchly held a different view.
“I cannot support the massive expansion of abortion in our state, especially late-term abortions of up to nine-month old babies," Morrison said. "I’m also troubled by the elimination of parental notification rules for minor children, husbands and unmarried fathers’ basics rights being stripped, as well as the use of Illinois taxpayer dollars to pay for abortive services. I believe this resolution which devalues the sanctity of human life was the wrong message for the Cook County Board to send and I do not support it,” Morrison said.
Even though the board's resolution had no effect on the state legislature's effort, Morrison said it was important that the substantial pro-life movement in Illinois have a voice in the process.
COOK COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS RESOLUTIONSPONSORS: Scott R. Britton, Larry Suffredin, Kevin B, Morrison, Donna Miller, Deborah Sims
URGING THE ILLINOIS GENERAL ASSEMBLY TO SUPPORT HB2495, THE REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH ACT
WHEREAS, every individual has a fundamental right to make autonomous decisions about one's own reproductive health; and
WHEREAS, every individual who becomes pregnant has a fundamental right to continue the pregnancy and give birth or to have an abortion; and
WHEREAS, no person who has terminated a pregnancy has made that deeply personal decision lightly; and
WHEREAS, accessing reproductive health care is not a criminal activity; and
WHEREAS, the Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive health non-profit, found that women around the world access abortion services at a statistically same rate whether they are legal and safe or illegal and unregulated; and
WHEREAS, deaths and injuries from unsafe abortions are preventable; and
WHEREAS, marginalized individuals are disproportionately affected by abortion restrictions as they are unable to seek safe and legal services in another country, state or county or access private care; and
WHEREAS, over the last 60 years, more than 30 countries have changed their laws to allow for greater access to abortion in recognition of its vital role in protecting women’s lives and health; and
WHEREAS, in 1973 the Supreme Court ruled in Roe v. Wade to protect legal rights to safe abortions; and
WHEREAS, criminalization of abortion results in a chilling effect, in which medical professionals may apply more narrow restrictions than required by the law or in which women and girls may be deterred from seeking health care for life-threatening complications due to unsafe abortions or other pregnancy issues; and
WHEREAS, the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW, or the Treaty for the Rights of Women), has consistently stated that restrictive abortion laws constitute discrimination against women; and
WHEREAS, under international human rights law, everyone has a right to life, health, and to be free from violence, discrimination, and torture or cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and that being forced into illegal, unsafe abortions constitutes a violation therein; and
WHEREAS, nearby states with restrictive laws are also served by Illinois’ safeguards and as of 2017, about 5,500 out-of-state women had the procedure performed in Illinois; and
WHEREAS, in 2017, Illinois legislators passed a law that was signed into law by then Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner requiring state health insurance and Medicaid to cover abortions; and
WHEREAS, the Illinois Reproductive Health Act (IRHA) establishes and protects the fundamental right to safe and legal reproductive health care including contraceptives, maternal care and abortion care; and
WHEREAS, the IRHA protects all personal choices individuals may make about their reproductive health, including the right to choose or refuse birth control, the right to carry a pregnancy to term and give birth, and the right to choose or refuse abortion; and
WHEREAS, the IRHA codifies current standards of medical best practices on who can perform abortions and prescribe non-surgical abortion-related medications; and
WHEREAS, the IRHA regulates clinics that perform abortions like all other medical clinics; and
WHEREAS, the IRHA finally repeals the decades-old Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 and the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, which, though currently enjoined by courts, established criminal penalties for performing an abortion and providing certain types of contraceptives, and allowed a husband to prevent his wife from having an abortion; and
WHEREAS, the IRHA amends the Illinois Insurance Code to ensure that private insurance companies will also cover health care costs for services related to abortion, adding to already required coverage related to contraception, infertility treatments, and maternity care; and
WHEREAS, we must ensure fundamental health care protections for future generations of women and safeguard the reproductive rights of women in Illinois and beyond; and
WHEREAS, protections provided by Roe v. Wade is under increasing threat in states across the country including in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, Ohio, Georgia and Missouri; and
WHEREAS, these state laws may lead to a US Supreme Court challenge of Roe. V. Wade, that may overturn federal protections; and
WHEREAS, should Roe v. Wade be overturned, the provisions of Illinois’ restrictive Abortion Law of 1975 and Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act will go into effect; and
WHEREAS, the IRHA was filed with the Clerk as H.B. 2495 by Representative Kelly M. Cassidy, with Chief Co-Sponsors including Representative Sara Feigenholtz, Representative Emanuel Chris Welch, Representative Marcus C. Evans, Jr., Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth and 35 additional co-sponsors; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the President and members of the Cook County Board of Commissioners do hereby recognize the need to keep abortion and reproductive health care safe and accessible; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Cook County Board of Commissioners urges the Illinois General Assembly to pass H.B. 2495 of the 101st General Assembly, also known as the Illinois Reproductive Health Act, and support it in any manner possible to ensure residents can continue to be able to practice their fundamental rights to choose their reproductive futures.
Sean Morrison is a great Republican and a pro-ife leader.
Thank you for covering this, IR! Thank you Commissioner Morrison!
Thank you to those brave women and men who took several hours out there day and testified at the Cook county board. Your testimony resulted in the board shelving their resolution. Thank you again and thank you for your support of Me, it is appreciated!