The little noticed loophole in Illinois law that would allow abortions up to the moment of birth.

The little noticed loophole in Illinois law that would allow abortions up to the moment of birth.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker leaves the podium after talking about the reported draft opinion that suggests the U.S. Supreme Court could be poised to overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade abortion decision at the Thompson Center in Chicago on May 3, 2022.  (Jose M. Osorio / Chicago Tribune)

Reports that the law would allow abortions only up to “viability” are incomplete and wrong.

As the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, handing the states the power to make abortion laws, attention in Illinois of course turns to “what now?”

Abortion in Illinois now is governed by The Reproductive Health Act that proclaims that the procedure is a “fundamental” right. Some reports note that the law supposedly bans abortion after the fetus reaches “viability.”

Generally overlooked, however, is a provision in the law that says that some exceptions are allowed after viability. For example, the State Journal Register reported, “One can have an abortion in Illinois up to viability, considered to be 24 weeks after conception. After that period of time, an abortion can only be performed if the mother is in medical distress.” [Emphasis added.]

Sounds reasonable, doesn’t it? So, how does one define “medical distress?” When does the law allow an exception after viability?

The Illinois law specifically lays out the exception:

If the health care professional determines that there is fetal viability, the health care professional may provide abortion care only if, in the professional judgment of the health care professional, the abortion is necessary to protect the life or health of the patient. [Emphasis added.]

Okay, so how does the law define “health?” Here’s the loophole:

Health of the patient “means all factors that are relevant to the patient’s health and well-being, including, but not limited to, physical, emotional, psychological, and familial health and age.

In other words, any abortion, even late-term ones, is legal in Illinois if the abortionist simply approves it. He can in his “judgment” conclude that an abortion is necessary for any poorly defined reason. “Health of the patient” includes not just physical health, but also “emotional, psychological and familial health and age.” What is the chance that abortionist would not grant that exception? How emotional does the patient have to be? What is “familial health?” All of these reasons are so subjective that they’re, in effect, an open door.

The loophole would allow, for example, the gruesome procedure called, in laymen’s terms, partial birth abortion, in which the infant/fetus is extracted partially feet-first from the birth canal and his brains sucked out and skull collapsed to make the delivery easier.

So, where did that health exception come from? Did Illinois legislators formulate this on their own? The answer is no, and here is the high irony: The language is taken exactly from Roe’s companion Supreme Court decision, Doe v. Bolton. The vagueness of the “health” exception has allowed decades of late term abortions, numbering in the who knows how many?

Which brings up another point about Illinois. The Illinois law requires the abortionist to report to the state every abortion he does. The state Health Dept. will prescribe the form on which he makes the report. Will it require him to report and justify late term abortions? If so, will the department audit the accuracy of those reports? I wouldn’t bet on it.

But the radical abortion industry and their well-funded allies in Illinois would have us believe that the “collection of cells”, even moments before birth, has no right to life

Here’s another irony. Roe at least recognized that the government has an interest in preserving the life of the fetus in the third or late trimester. The Illinois law makes it abundantly clear that an unborn child has no rights, none at all.

The bill establishes the “fundamental right” of a woman to have an abortion and states that a “fertilized egg, embryo or fetus does not have independent rights.” At least Roe recognized that abortion involved a balancing of rights, between the mother and the infant before birth.

But the radical abortion industry and their well-funded allies in Illinois would have us believe that the “collection of cells”, even moments before birth, has no right to life. It defines personhood as a matter of dependence (upon the mother’s body), a definition that is replete with drastic and deadly consequences for the sick, elderly and even born babies and children growing up.

Liberals once defined themselves by their determination to extend the rights of personhood, as well as compassion, to the oppressed and innocent. Not any more. Consider TeenVogue’s rhetoric that overturning Roe makes it “impossible to overstate the horror and cruelty of this decision for any person who can get pregnant but does not want to have children.” Notice the revealing language: “any person…who does not want….” No mention about the cruelty that abortion inflicts on a living person.

As if their anti-personhood agenda wasn’t clear enough, the extremists at the Illinois ACLU happily point out that, “If you are under 18, a clinic is not required by law to contact a parent or legal guardian if you are seeking abortion care services.” It’s “entirely” up to, say, a 14-year-old child to go to a clinic to make a major life-changing decision on her own, with no one’s loving counsel, except for, of course, the abortionist.

The Illinois abortion cult is so extreme that it likes to brag that they have ginned up the nation’s most “progressive” (i.e. radical) abortion environment. In this, they might be right–to their everlasting shame. Women will flock here to “terminate “her pregnancy, they say. As if that weren’t enough, now Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker proclaimed that he’s calling the Legislature into special session to take “swift action to further enshrine our commitment to reproductive health care rights and protection.”

What, pray tell, can be left to do? Illinois proudly boasts that it is the most pro-abortion state in the Union. Will we be heading for anti-life territory that we never could imagine?

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