CHICAGO — Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed the Patient and Provider Protection Act on Friday, granting additional protections to those seeking abortions or gender affirming health care in the state.
State lawmakers approved the bill on Tuesday which, among other items, would shield reproductive and gender-affirming health care patients and providers from legal action originating across state lines.
Planned Parenthood of Illinois said that since Roe was overturned, it has seen more out-of-state patients than ever. Before the high court’s decision that replaced Roe and left abortion up to states, Planned Parenthood saw patients from 10 to 15 other states besides Illinois. Since then, its clinics have treated patients from 33 states.
“Every single person, regardless of gender, sexuality race and economic status has the right to privacy and bodily autonomy,” Pritzker said.
Pritzker was joined by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, a number of state legislators, and community advocates for the bill signing in downtown Chicago.
Here are some highlights of the act:
- Shields Illinoisans from out-of-state action intended to persecute those who provide, receive, or assist in providing reproductive health care — including abortion and gender-affirming care — that is lawful in Illinois.
- Establishes a counterclaim for individuals who have a judgment entered against them in another state for reproductive healthcare or gender-affirming care that is legal in the state of Illinois.
- Prevents insurers from charging higher out-of-pocket costs when patients are forced to seek out-of-network provider care due to an in-network provider raising moral objections under the Health Care Right of Conscience Act.
- Protects the Illinois licenses of health care professionals who are penalized for providing care that is illegal in another state, but legal in Illinois.
- Allows birthing centers to provide reproductive care.
- Clarifies that advance practice registered nurses and physicians’ assistants can perform abortions within the scope of their practice.
The Associated Press contributed to this article