Opinion: Abortion rights in Illinois after Roe

We did not need a leaked, draft U.S. Supreme Court opinion to know that Roe v. Wade likely will not be the law of the land in the near future.  We knew reproductive rights were on the line when – after seeing the appointment of several conservative Supreme Court Justices – state after state enacted bans that were direct threats to Roe v. Wade.  Any lingering optimism we had about the future of a federal constitutional right to abortion was gone when we watched the Supreme Court do nothing in the face of the unconstitutional Texas law banning abortion after 6 weeks, knowing that they also were being directly asked to overturn the protections of Roe in the Mississippi case, Dobbs. 

It is undeniably a shock to see the words overturning Roe v. Wade – taking away a fundamental right we have held in this country for nearly half a century– in black and white.  But it is not surprising.  At the ACLU of Illinois, we saw this coming and have been preparing for the fight ahead for years. 

We have been hard at work for the last several years making sure state law protects the right of each person to make their own decisions about when to have a baby.  In Illinois, all people have the fundamental right to make decisions about their own reproductive health care – including whether to have an abortion.

  • There are no restrictions on abortion before “fetal viability.”
  • After fetal viability, an abortion may be performed to protect the patient’s life or health.
  • The same rights exist for people who are in State custody, control, or supervision such as people in jail, prison, or who are in DCFS custody.
  • A fetus or embryo does not have independent rights in Illinois.
  • There is no “trigger law” that will make abortion unlawful if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
  • After June 1, 2022, a person under 18 does not have to give notice to or get consent from a parent in order to have an abortion.
  • Illinois Medicaid and most private health insurance plans are required to cover abortion care.
  • Patients are not forced to endure a waiting period, view an ultrasound, or listen to a lecture filled with misinformation to have an abortion in Illinois. 
  • Pregnant people cannot be punished in Illinois if they self-manage an abortion or suffer a miscarriage.
  • Health care providers that have religious objections to abortion or providing birth control must give their patients information about getting that service somewhere else. 
  • Most insurance companies must cover birth control prescriptions for up to 12 months at one time.

These rights will exist for people in Illinois even if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

Ameri Klafeta is the director of the Women’s and Reproductive Rights Project for the ACLU of Illinois.

Know a useful resource?

Share it with your community!

We aggregate links that connect to resources across Illinois. If you know of a site that should be included or want your website listed, please submit it!


Get LGBTQ news sent right to you!

We share original stories, plus essential headlines from across the state and beyond, to keep you current on LGBTQ issues and community.


This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By continuing to use this website, you consent to the use of cookies in accordance with our privacy policy.

Scroll to Top