Illinois Sex Selective and Disability Abortion Ban (HB 282)
This law was last updated on Feb 10, 2019
HB 282 would prohibit a person from performing or attempting to perform an abortion if the person knows that the pregnant patient is seeking a sex selective abortion, or an abortion solely because the fetus has been or has the potential to be, diagnosed with Down Syndrome or any other disability. This would not apply to a lethal fetal anomaly.
The bill goes on to further prohibit a person from intentionally performing or attempting to perform an abortion if the person knows that the pregnant patient is seeking the abortion solely because of the race, color, national origin, or ancestry of the fetus.
A person who knowingly or intentionally performs an abortion in violation of this provision may be subject to disciplinary sanctions and civil liability for wrongful death.
The bill would require the health department to develop a perinatal hospice brochure and post it on their website. The brochure would need to include the following:
- a description of the health care and other services available from perinatal hospice;
- information that medical assistance benefits may be available for prenatal care, childbirth, and perinatal hospice; and
- information regarding accessing grief counseling and other human services, and the types of services that are available through this service.
The department would also need to develop a form on which a pregnant patient certifies, at the time of receiving a diagnosis that the pregnant woman’s “unborn child” has a lethal fetal anomaly, that the pregnant woman has received the following:
- a copy of the brochure; and
- a list of the perinatal hospice providers and programs.
The provider diagnosing the pregnant patient’s “unborn child” with the lethal fetal anomaly would need to provide the pregnant patient with the brochure and the certification form.
At least 18 hours before an abortion is performed on a pregnant patient whose “unborn child” has been diagnosed with a lethal fetal anomaly, the physician performing the abortion would be required to:
- orally and in person, inform the pregnant patient of the availability of perinatal hospice services; and
- provide the patient with the brochure and list of providers and programs.
If the pregnant patient decides to go ahead with the abortion, they would need to certify in writing at least 18 hours prior to the abortion.
The bill would require abortion reports to include the following additional information: the gender of the fetus (if detectable), and whether the fetus has been diagnosed with or has a potential diagnosis of having Down syndrome or any other disability.
Human Rights Act
The bill would amend the Illinois Human Rights Act to expand the definition of “unlawful discrimination” to include the performance of an abortion solely because of the race, color, sex, disability, national origin, or ancestry of the fetus.
Sex-selection abortions are not a widespread problem in the United States. However, anti-choice activists cite three studies documenting the use of sex-selection abortion primarily among a small number of immigrant women. The National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum notes that a ban similar to the proposed Missouri ban “targets and thus limits reproductive health access for Asian American & Pacific Islander women, who anti-choicers say are the ones guilty of this abortion practice. We know the real solution to ending the preference for sons in some families is getting to the root of the problem: gender inequity. If lawmakers truly want to help us, we call on them to promote equal pay, access to education, health equity, and ending violence against women.”