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The sponsor of a bill that would replace Illinois’ current abortion law with language that is less restrictive said Wednesday she feels the bill will be moving forward, even after it was previously stalled in subcommittee.
The Reproductive Health Act, sponsored by Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, would, among other provisions, make it so everyone has “a fundamental right to make autonomous decisions” about their reproductive health. It also requires private health insurance companies that cover pregnancy-related benefits to cover abortion and allows physician-assistants to perform the procedure.
The bill had previously been put into the House Human Services committee and moved to the Informed Consent subcommittee, before being pushed back to the Rules Committee.
Cassidy said at the end of a caucus meeting, House Speaker Michael Madigan did confirm he would entertain a request for a hearing on the bill in a different committee. She said she did not know which committee it would be. […]
“I feel like we’ll be moving forward (with the bill),” Cassidy said.
Rep. Cheri Bustos of Moline, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has pulled out of a fundraising event for anti-abortion Rep. Dan Lipinski, highlighting the growing concerns in the party about abortion rights.
In a statement sent out on Twitter, Bustos said that she had agreed to attend a fundraiser for Lipinski several months ago, “but I’ve determined that I must cancel my participation in this event.”
“I’m proud to have a 100 percent pro-choice voting record and I’m deeply alarmed by the rapidly escalating attacks on women’s access to reproductive care in several states,” Bustos said.
Lipinski, a conservative Democrat from Western Springs who faces a rematch with abortion rights supporter Marie Newman next year, said in a statement that in discussions with Bustos this week “it became clear that her attendance at a fundraiser for me has become a distraction from her work.”
The decision, which was first reported by the New York Times, is a clear nod to progressive members and outside groups, who have also criticized Bustos for codifying a DCCC policy that prohibits vendors and consultants from working with candidates challenging incumbents since March. Her decision to fundraise with Lipinski added more fuel to the fire.
Bustos stands by the policy and has given no indication that she will reverse course, which has continue to irritate the caucus’s left flank, particularly lawmakers who, themselves, ousted more moderate incumbent Democrats.
“It’s a smart move and I’m glad she listening to progressive voices,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), who has sharply criticized Bustos’ for her handling of the vendor policy. “I appreciate that Cheri has shown a willingness to listen and change. I hope she’ll take the same approach on the vendor blacklist issue. I remain committed to sitting down with her and seeking a principled compromise.”