Illinois to ignore federal abortion gag rule

SPRINGFIELD — This week, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced that Illinois will refuse to implement the Trump administration’s Title X gag rule. The rule bars federal funding for contraception for low-income women unless providers refuse to refer or provide abortion services along with other reproductive health care. “President Trump’s gag rule undermines women’s health care and threatens the providers that millions of women and girls rely on, and we will not let that stand in the state of Illinois,” Pritzker said. “Under my administration, Illinois will always stand with women and protect their fundamental right to choose. While I’m committed to bringing as many federal dollars to the state as possible, I refuse to sacrifice our values and allow vital care to lapse.

AMA abortion lawsuit puts doctors in the thick of debate


By Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News

PIERRE, N.D. — The American Medical Association is suing North Dakota to block two abortion-related laws, the latest signal the doctors’ group is shifting to a more aggressive stance as the Trump administration and state conservatives ratchet up efforts to eliminate legal abortion. The group, which represents all types of physicians, has tended to stay on the sidelines of many controversial political issues, and until recently has done so concerning abortion and contraception. Instead, it has focused on legislation that affects the practice and finances of large swaths of its membership. But, said AMA President Patrice Harris in an interview, the organization felt it had to take a stand because new laws forced the small number of doctors who perform abortions to lie to patients, putting “physicians in a place where we are required by law to commit an ethical violation.”

One of the laws, set to take effect Aug. 1, requires physicians to tell patients that medication abortions — a procedure involving two drugs taken at different times — can be reversed.

Missouri’s last abortion clinic gets license extension

ST. LOUIS — On Friday, an administrative panel ruled that Planned Parenthood of St. Louis can keep its St. Louis clinic open until August while the fight over its license continues. The Hill reported on Friday that Missouri’s Administrative Hearing Commission issued a stay allowing the clinic to continue performing abortions without a license.

St. Louis’s last abortion clinic defies state, won’t do second pelvic exam

ST. LOUIS — Planned Parenthood of St. Louis, the last clinic in Missouri that performs abortions, has said it will no longer do the second pelvic exam required by state law. The clinic is currently fighting to keep open as the state holds its license in limbo. A court has ruled that the clinic can remain open until the state makes a decision on the clinic’s license.

Pritzker signs Reproductive Health Act

SPRINGFIELD — Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed the Reproductive Health Act today in Springfield. The act guarantees abortion access as a fundamental right in Illinois. The State Journal-Register in Springfield reported that Pritzker signed the act surrounded by lawmakers. From the Journal-Register:
Surrounded by dozens of lawmakers and abortion rights advocates, Pritzker signed the controversial legislation that he said will ensure that Illinois is “going to be there for women if they have to be refugees from other states.”

“In a time when too many states across the nation are taking a step backward, Illinois is taking a giant step forward for women’s health,” Pritzker said. “Today, we proudly proclaim that in this state, we trust women.