The governor of the US state of Illinois on Wednesday enacted a law establishing a “fundamental right” to abortion and removing old laws that criminalized the procedure.
The Illinois law was passed in response to a wave of bans and restrictions approved in other states, and Governor JB Pritzker hailed it as “a beacon of hope in the heart of this nation.”
The law repeals criminal penalties on abortion providers, codifying what had already been de facto law through court rulings.
The measure also requires private health insurance companies in the state to cover abortion procedures.
“We are building a firewall around Illinois to protect reproductive access for everyone,” state representative Kelly Cassidy, one of the law’s chief sponsors said.
Pritzker, a Democrat, said the added legal protections are necessary in the event that the US Supreme Court rules in the future to impose new abortion limits.
“Those opposed to women’s reproductive rights are emboldened,” the governor said, “And their hopeful eyes are on the highest court in the land.”
It comes as more conservative US states have enacted restrictions on abortion as part of a strategy to push the issue to the Supreme Court.
The top court upheld women’s right to abortion in its landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, but anti-abortion forces hope to overturn it now that the court’s conservative majority has been strengthened with the addition of two justices appointed by President Donald Trump.
Alabama approved a near complete abortion ban in May, and six other states have tightened abortion access in recent months, making the procedure illegal when fetal heartbeat is detected — usually around the six-week mark, when many women are not aware they are pregnant.
Pritzker said Illinois would be willing to accept “refugees from other states” where women might be denied abortion access.
In neighboring Missouri, for example, the fate of the last remaining abortion clinic is in the hands of a judge who is considering whether to allow it to continue operating.
Trump shows all the signs of being ‘rattled’ now that the White House is under siege from protesters: columnist
In a column for the Atlantic, longtime political observer Peter Nicholas stated that Donald Trump is showing all the signs of a scared man as massive protests have broken out across the country over the murder of George Floyd at the hands of four former Minneapolis cops -- and angry Americans are taking their case all the way up to the White House gates.
As Nicholas wrote, "Presidents live within a protective cocoon built and continually fortified for one purpose: keeping them alive. But inside the White House compound these days, Donald Trump seems rattled by what’s transpiring outside the windows of his historic residence."
Black Londoner explains George Floyd protester support with story of how cops murdered his brother
In an interview with MSNBC's Molly Hunter, a Black Londoner explained why he turned out for a protest near Trafalgar Square in support of Americans who have hit the streets in the U.S. over the murder of George Floyd by four former Minneapolis police officers.
According to the man -- identified as Daniel and who was wearing a COVID-19 mask and a New York Yankees hat -- his brother was also murdered by police and the cops walked free.
"You've been marching all day," Hunter began. "Look, I have two questions for you: what was it like watching the U.S. this week from London? Does it resonate?
Denver cops busted for doing drive-by shootings of anti-police brutality protesters
In a video posted to Twitter, a young Denver man protesting the killing of George Floyd at the hands of four former Minnesota police officers, found himself on the receiving end of an attack by police himself as he filmed them riding on the side of a truck -- only to have his phone hit by a fired police projectile while still in his hand.
According to Rachelle D'nae, a staff writer at Slate, her brother went to the Denver protest and was filming the officers when the incident occurred.
"My older brother went to a protest in Denver last night. as the police were leaving, one of them shot him with a pepper pellet that smashed the back of his phone and exploded in his face. they were ~30 feet from each other and it looks like the officer aimed directly at his face," she wrote before adding in a second tweet, "when my brother told me he was going I prepared for the worst. I made sure he had my number memorized so I could bail him out if I needed to and I sat up until he made it home, trying not to cry as he told me he had been tear-gassed."