A Democratic state lawmaker in Illinois is proposing an alternative law based on Texas’ new abortion law, which allows civilians can sue anyone who performs or helps a woman get an abortion for $10,000.
State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), who in 2019 sponsored law defining abortion as a fundamental right in Illinois, is introducing a bill dubbed “The Expanding Abortion Services Act,” the acronym of which spells TEXAS. According to a press release, the act was proposed to ensure that all Illinois citizens have a continued right to reproductive health services and extend that right to those who travel from “jurisdictions seeking to restrict access to abortion and other reproductive health care.”
Cassidy’s proposal would instead give Illinoisans the right to seek at least $10,000 in damages against anyone who causes an unwanted pregnancy even if it resulted from consensual sex or anyone who commits sexual assault or abuse, including domestic violence.
“If folks are policing the bodies of people who are seeking reproductive healthcare in Texas, well, then maybe we should be policing the bodies of the people who are causing those problems here in Illinois,” Cassidy told NPR Illinois.
Under Cassidy’s bill, half of the damages awarded would go toward a new “State Abortion Freedom Access Fund,” to be managed by the state’s Department of Healthcare and Family Services. The money would also be required to be halved even if a case is settled.
The fund would be used as financial aid for people from states with limited abortion access to travel to Illinois for the procedure. While Cassidy acknowledged the bill’s name and modeling after the Texas law includes some element of trolling, she said she’s serious about getting co-sponsors and a hearing on the legislation.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE
PHOTO CREDITS: CHICAGO SUN TIMES
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