As surrounding states ramp up restrictions on abortion, Illinois is taking steps to expand access to reproductive healthcare.
Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker announced this week a slate of cross-agency initiatives and programs to help address the influx of out-of-state abortion seekers the state has seen since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year. According to Pritzker, these programs will focus on reducing costs for patients, supporting healthcare facilities, and investing millions of dollars in the state's public health system.
"Unlike some other states, in the fourteen months since the Supreme Court made the archaic and destructive decision to overturn Roe V. Wade, Illinois has doubled down on our commitment to protect and expand reproductive rights for patients and providers alike," Pritzker said in a statement. "This most recent batch of nation-leading policy expands access even further—because in the Land of Lincoln, we will not go backwards."
The governor's spending plan includes $10 million for a hotline that helps patients — including those out-of-state — locate abortion providers, schedule appointments, acquire proper screenings, and arrange transportation. Additionally, Pritzker announced that the state's Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity will provide $5 million in grants to help abortion providers pay for repairs, new construction, security upgrades, and equipment to increase capacity and enhance safety.
"While others attempt to roll back rights and restrict bodily autonomy, our state is forging ahead to build the groundwork for comprehensive, accessible reproductive healthcare," said Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton. "By addressing barriers to seeking an abortion and supporting providers who meet patients' needs, these cross-agency initiatives demonstrate what it means to stand on the right side of history in the fight for reproductive justice."
The funding for these programs is coming from the state's $45 billion infrastructure program, dubbed Rebuild Illinois.
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