Thursday, March 19, 2009

Illinoise on Reproductive Justice

The Illinois state legislature has a really good bill on reproductive justice in the Illinois State Assembly. But I hear that now that the bill has passed out of committee, the anti-choice committee is coming out in full force, and state legislators are overwhelmingly lining up on their side. The bill proposed is the kind of thing we should be seeing more of -- ensuring basic reproductive rights for all women -- but just aren't. Veronica Arreola outlined what the bill would do really well for RH Reality Check:
  • Ensure that each individual has as many options as possible when it comes to making decisions about their own reproductive heath care.
  • Reduce unintended pregnancies through comprehensive sex education rather than abstinence-only-until-marriage programs.
  • Protect and expand access to birth control (including emergency contraception) for all individuals in Illinois.
  • Ensure that the government cannot interfere with an individual's right to have a child or to terminate a pregnancy.
Ultimately this bill is about giving women the power to make their own choices about their reproductive health care.

Even if the bill doesn't pass, what is good about these debates that have been repeatedly been popping up in state legislatures all around the country, is that people are beginning to talk -- really talk -- about what they want public policy around reproductive health to be.

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