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Illinois Bill Repealing the ‘Reproductive Health Act’ (HB 3850)

This law was last updated on Aug 20, 2019


HB 3850 would repeal the Reproductive Health Act (RHA) and redefine “viability” to include when a fetal heartbeat can be detected.

The bill would create the Illinois Abortion Law of 2019, which contains the provisions of the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 before it was repealed by the RHA. The bill would amend various Acts by restoring the language that existed before the amendment of those Acts by the RHA.

Viability

The bill would redefine “viability” to mean when a fetus can survive outside of the womb or when the fetus has a fetal heartbeat.

The bill defines “fetal heartbeat” to mean “cardiac activity or the steady and repetitive rhythmic contraction of the fetal heart within the gestational sac.”

Medical Judgement

The bill would prohibit an abortion from being performed unless a physician determines the abortion is necessary. Any person who intentionally or knowingly performs an abortion contrary to this requirement would be committing a Class 2 felony.

Heartbeat Abortion Ban

Unless it’s necessary to preserve the life or health of the pregnancy person, the bill would prohibit the performance of an abortion when a fetus is viable—which could be as early as six weeks into a pregnancy under the bill’s new definition of “viability.” Intentional, knowing, or reckless failure to conform to this requirement would be a Class 2 felony.

If an abortion is necessary, the physician would be required to certify the reason in writing.

Any physician who performs an abortion when there is a reasonable likelihood that the fetus may survive outside of the womb would be required to utilize the method of abortion that would most likely preserve the health and life of the fetus. They would also need to certify this decision in writing. Any physician who violates this requirement would be committing a Class 3 felony.

Except in the case of a medical emergency, no abortion may be performed on a “viable” fetus unless there is another physician in attendance who could take control and provide immediate medical care for any child “born alive” as a result of the abortion. Any physician who intentionally performs or induces such an abortion and who fails to arrange for the attendance of a second physician would be committing a Class 3 felony.

Born-Alive

If a child is “born alive,” the physician required to be in attendance must exercise the same degree of professional skill, care and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as would be required of a physician providing immediate medical care to a child born alive in the course of a pregnancy termination which was not an abortion. Any such physician who violates this requirement would be committing a Class 3 felony.

Anesthetic

The bill would require a physician to inform the pregnant person that they could use an anesthetic or analgesic when the fetus is viable and there exists “reasonable medical certainty” that the particular method of abortion would cause pain to the fetus. Any physician who fails to inform the pregnant person of this would be committing a Class B misdemeanor.

Sex-Selective Abortion

The bill would prohibit the performance of an abortion if the reason for the abortion is due to the sex of the fetus.

Reporting Requirements

The bill would require physicians to submit detailed reports for each abortion they perform. Any physician who fails to submit the necessary reports could lose their medical license. Any facility that fails to complete the required reports would be committing a Class B misdemeanor.

Conscience Clause

The bill would allow physicians, hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, and any staff, to refuse to participate in any abortion if it goes against their conscience.

Abortion Performance Refusal Act of 2019

No physician, nurse or other person who refuses to recommend, perform or assist in the performance of an abortion, whether such abortion be a crime or not, would be liable to any person for damages allegedly arising from such refusal.

No hospital that refuses to permit the performance of an abortion upon its premises, whether such abortion be a crime or not, would be liable to any person for damages allegedly arising from such refusal.

Any person or entity that discriminates against another person in any way due to their refusal to recommend, perform or assist in the performance of an abortion, whether such abortion be a crime or not, would be answerable in civil damages equal to 3 times the amount of proved damages, but in no case less than $2,000.

The license of any hospital, doctor, nurse or any other medical personnel may not be revoked or suspended because of a refusal to permit, recommend, perform or assist in the performance of an abortion.

Partial-birth Abortion Ban Act of 2019

The bill would prohibit “partial-birth” abortions. Any person who knowingly performs a partial-birth abortion would be guilty of a Class 4 felony.

Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center Act

The bill would require any corporation operating an Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center devoted primarily to providing facilities for abortion to have a physician, who is licensed to practice medicine in all of its branches and is actively engaged in the practice of medicine at the Center, on the board of directors as a condition to licensure of the Center.

The Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act

The bill would clarify that nothing in the Sexual Assault Survivors Emergency Treatment Act should be construed to require a hospital or an approved pediatric health care facility to provide any services which relate to an abortion.

Injunctive Relief for Partners Opposed to Abortion

If the partner of a pregnant person seeking an abortion is opposed to the abortion, the bill would allow them to seek injunctive relief and take the pregnant person to court.

When the interests of the husband in preventing the abortion outweigh those of the wife in having an abortion performed after the fetus is viable, the court may issue an injunction against the performance of the abortion but only where the court makes a finding that the pregnant person’s life or physical health are not in danger.


STATUS

6/27/19 – Introduced.


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