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*** UPDATED x2 *** RHA roundup

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

*** UPDATE 1 *** Press release…

In response to Personal PAC President and CEO Terry Cosgrove’s comment during a recent press conference that Assistant House Republican Leader Avery Bourne was a used as a “prop” during the abortion bill debate on Tuesday, the women of the House Republican Caucus have issued this joint statement:

“At a time when Democrats talk about the importance of empowering women and acknowledging their value in leadership roles, Terry Cosgrove’s efforts to degrade Assistant Leader Avery Bourne’s importance as a spokesperson for our caucus is indefensible. Avery is one of our caucus’ most outspoken advocates on the protection of unborn life, and any attempts to diminish the credibility of her voice is appalling.”

    Rep. Terri Bryant (R-Murphysboro)
    Rep. Amy Grant (R-Wheaton)
    Rep. Norine Hammond (R-Macomb)
    Rep. Deanne Mazzochi (R-Elmhurst)
    Rep. Tony McCombie (R-Havanna)
    Rep. Margo McDermed (R-Mokena)
    Rep. Lindsey Parkhurst (R-Kankakee)

*** UPDATE 2 *** Terry Cosgrove…

I want to apologize to Representative Avery Bourne publicly and completely. This morning, I cast an unfair and inappropriate aspersion on Representative Bourne’s passionate advocacy on the floor of the Illinois House, asserting that it was a “cheap political stunt.” That was just wrong. It not only was offensive to Representative Bourne personally, it also rudely ignored the heartfelt, passionate way in which Representative Bourne expressed herself in Committee on Sunday evening and yesterday in the full House. She may disagree with the position embraced by Personal PAC, but she did not deserve to be subjected to such an insult.

This was an unnecessary, harmful distraction to Representative Bourne as she attempts to complete her work in the waning days of session. She deserves this respect and recognition for her work, not the flippant response of someone who should know better. In the coming hours, my intent is to communicate this apology directly to Representative Bourne.

[ *** End Of Updates *** ]

* Amanda Vinicky

As other states, including neighboring Missouri, have passed laws that are tantamount to abortion bans, Illinois is moving in the opposite direction.

After an emotional, but by and large respectful debate, the Illinois House on Tuesday voted 64 to 50 to enshrine in state law a woman’s fundamental right to have an abortion.

“Since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973, efforts to undermine reproductive rights have been constant. We have seen in recent days and weeks these attacks have increased dramatically. They are focused and strategic and aimed at undermining our right to bodily autonomy and self-determination,” sponsoring Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, said. “Not on my watch.”

Cassidy repeatedly said the measure will merely codify in state statue what is already common practice.

The measure, Senate Bill 25, repeals the Illinois Abortion Law, which could punish doctors for performing abortions – law that has technically been on the books since the ‘70s but is not in practice due to court injunctions and decrees.

* Jamie Munks

The bill, called the Reproductive Health Act, would also repeal the state’s partial birth abortion ban, which affects later-stage pregnancies. Partial-birth abortions are not allowed under federal law, unless it’s used as a means to save the mother’s life when it’s in jeopardy.

* Rebecca Anzel

It designates access to contraception, pregnancy benefits, abortion procedures, diagnostic testing and other related health care as a fundamental right, banning government from impairing that access for women and men. […]

During floor debate Tuesday, Cassidy had a scripted back-and-forth with Rep. Robyn Gabel, D-Evanston. It covered topics ranging from whether the Reproductive Health Act would allow abortions to occur at any point during a pregnancy for any reason — in short, no, Cassidy answered — to who can perform an abortion — only doctors can carry out a surgical one, but physician assistants and advanced-practice registered nurses can prescribe medications. […]

[Cassidy] went on to answer questions from lawmakers from both parties for nearly two hours. There were two phrases she repeated frequently: The Reproductive Health Act “does not change the current standard of practice” and “doctors are required to adhere to accepted standards of clinical practice.” […]

In addition, the measure repeals several aspects of current law that courts have blocked, including criminal penalties for doctors and spousal consent.

* Dana Vollmer

In an unusual move, Republicans deferred almost all their time to one colleague: state Rep. Avery Bourne, from Raymond, who’s pregnant. She went back and forth with the legislation‘s sponsor, state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a Democrat from Chicago.

“How broad do we intend for this to be?” Bourne asked.

“A doctor will make a decision based on the accepted standards of medical care,” Cassidy said.

“Could you give me any parameters that we’re asking this doctor to make?” Bourne asked.

“I am not a doctor,“ Cassidy replied. “Doctors decide. And doctors decide based on the accepted standards of clinical care.”

* Tina Sfondeles

For about 45 minutes, Bourne questioned Cassidy on everything from the meaning of a “fundamental right” to parental notification to what an “extraordinary medical measure” is.

Bourne offered examples, such as whether a baby at 36-weeks could be terminated if an ultrasound shows a “hole in their heart.” She also described whether a sick baby being flown to a neo-natal intensive care unit would be considered an “extraordinary medical measure.”

“This broadens their ability to make that decision,” Bourne said.

Cassidy said legislators “can’t and should not be hearing hypotheticals.”

“Lawmakers are not doctors. Doctors need to use the accepted standard of clinical care and to make their decision to the best of their knowledge,” Cassidy said.

Putting Rep. Bourne out front helped give the Republicans a strong visual image since she’s so very pregnant. But it also kept their more, um, vocal members quiet and in the background.

* Cassie Buchman

The debate became emotional at times, including when Rep. Avery Bourne, R-Raymond, asked Cassidy a series of questions about the language in the bill. Several Republican House members gave up their time to talk about the bill so Bourne could speak long beyond the five minutes allotted to each lawmaker.

Bourne’s voice cracked as she talked about what she said is the “most expansive” abortion bill in the state and country.

“This bill is not about keeping abortion legal in Illinois,” Bourne said. “This is about a massive expansion that will impact viable babies. And that is wrong.” […]

Bishop Thomas John Paprocki, of the Diocese of Springfield, issued a statement condemning the “gravely immoral” action of the House in passing the bill.

“Christians have rejected the practice of abortion from the earliest days of the Church,” he said. “Children are a gift from God, no matter the circumstances of their conception. They not only have a right to life, but we as a society have a moral obligation to protect them from harm. Legislation that deprives children of legal protection before they are born, allowing for the murder of children at any stage in the womb, even up to the moment of birth, is evil.”

* Rachel Droze

But Bourne said doing this is wrong.

“This is an expansion of abortion unlike states around us and I think it certainly makes us an outlier in the country,” Bourne said after the debate. “We are legislating for what is happening right now and in the state of Illinois. For them to use what other states are doing to justify their expansion of abortion, I think, is irresponsible legislating.”

Bourne led the opposition debate against SB25 on the House floor.

Each time she spoke, all Republican representatives stood to listen to the 33-weeks-pregnant mom-to-be.

“This bill will mean that for a person at my stage of pregnancy, where the baby responds to his dad’s voice as he reads him books at night, the woman could go to the facility — the baby is perfectly healthy — but if that woman says based on my familial health this is medically necessary, that is allowed,” Bourne said during the debate on the House floor.

* Greg Bishop

Republican state Rep. Avery Bourne, who’s pregnant, took issue with several parts of the bill, which she said was too expansive.

“So you are taking out the prohibition on sex-selective abortions and you think that’s the appropriate thing for the state to do?” Bourne said.

“I think that it is appropriate to codify current practice,” Cassidy said.

Bourne also took issue with what she said was the measure’s language removing rights from an unborn fetus. She worried the law would not allow someone to be held accountable for an attack against a pregnant woman that harmed or kills a fetus in the womb. Cassidy said existing law on that issue would stand.

Bourne and other Republicans were also concerned about a lack of requirements to report to the state why an abortion was performed, and even restrictions they said would keep a coroner from investigating botched abortions.

The coroner thing was a bit interesting because the only medically related death that has to be reported to a county coroner is abortion. This legislation would treat abortion like every other death after a medical treatment or procedure.

* Jack Crowe

The bill’s proponents have argued that the legislation codifies existing practice and is necessary in light of the recent passage of restrictive abortion laws in a number of Republican-controlled states, as well as the conservative majority on the Supreme Court, which many pro-choice activists are concerned might overturn Roe v. Wade.

“RHA codifies our existing practices and — and this is critical — treats abortion care just like any other health care, because it is,” said the bill’s sponsor, state representative Kelly Cassidy (D., Chicago).

* Joe Bustos

Passsage of the RHA in the House came on the same day as the Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis says it may lose its license to perform abortions. The St. Louis Planned Parenthood location is the only clinic in Missouri that provides abortions.

That news may lead to more women coming to Illinois for an abortion, officials at Hope Clinic in Granite City said.

About half of Hope Clinic’s patients are from Missouri, with 40 to 45 percent from Illinois, and 5 to 10 percent from elsewhere, said Alison Dreith, the clinic’s deputy director.

Dreith said after Missouri instituted a 72-hour mandatory waiting period for abortion in 2014, more and more people came to Hope Clinic, especially in the last two years.

* Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia)

“All you have to do is look at the tally board to see where the votes came from…..from up north. I am looking forward to the days of truth and justice for the babies in the womb.”

* One more…

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Concerned Dem - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 10:14 am:

    Admittedly I have not had a chance to listen to all of Rep. Bourne’s performance yesterday, did anyone bother to ask her which one of her colleagues she trusts more than herself and her doctor to make her prenatal care choices?

  2. - Hankster - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 10:22 am:

    – did anyone bother to ask her which one of her colleagues she trusts more than herself and her doctor to make her prenatal care choices –

    Abortion is not prenatal care…many would argue its just the opposite.

  3. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 10:24 am:

    –“All you have to do is look at the tally board to see where the votes came from…..from up north.”

    This, from a Republican in the Illinois House.

    So when these kids put on the Grey and play, who does Bailey pretend to be? Jefferson Davis? Nathan Bedford Forrest?

  4. - Concerned Dem - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 10:28 am:

    Let me rephrase… which one of her colleagues she trusts more than herself and her doctor to make her healthcare choices while pregnant.

  5. - Jocko - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 10:41 am:

    ==Abortion is not prenatal care==

    What about an ectopic pregnancy or condition that threatens the life of the mother? What about victims of reproductive coercion?

  6. - A guy - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 10:49 am:

    Avery did a wonderful job yesterday.

  7. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 10:55 am:

    Bourne debate worth watching

  8. - Perrid - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 11:07 am:

    The debate was more even keeled than I was expecting.

    I just hope to see the day both sides of this debate admit the other side has some merit to their argument. Saying babies have no value during pregnancy is nonsense. Saying abortion is never a valid option and is always “murder” is nonsense. There are 2 people (the baby and the mother or pregnant woman) whose rights, freedoms, and liberties are in conflict. We should at least admit that much, before arguing about the many details that acknowledgment leaves unaddressed. I’ll get of my soapbox now.

  9. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 11:15 am:

    –“Christians have rejected the practice of abortion from the earliest days of the Church,” (Paprocki) said.–

    This just in: there is not a “the Church” in Christianity.

    And the earliest Christians would have been guided by Judaic law, which is nuanced and has been subject to different interpretations over a few thousand years.

  10. - lakeside - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 11:15 am:

    Concerned - your first definition was correct. Prenatal means ‘during or related to pregnancy.’

  11. - lakeside - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 11:20 am:

    Following up on wordslinger - and in the US, abortion was allowed by those lax and hedonistic Puritans up until the quickening. Laws against abortion weren’t much of a thing until the 1860s. So he’s not even right about the ‘church’ of the last 200-400 years, let alone 2000.

  12. - 47th Ward - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 11:43 am:

    ===Laws against abortion weren’t much of a thing until the 1860s.===

    A specialty in OB-GYN wasn’t much of a thing in medicine until relatively recently either.

  13. - Politix - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 11:45 am:

    “Saying babies have no value during pregnancy is nonsense.”

    Except no one says that.

    “Women have no value during pregnancy is nonsense”

    Fixed it for you.

  14. - Truthseeker - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 11:51 am:

    There are times that the ILGA rises to the occasion in terms of decorum and respectful debate. Regardless of one’s position on the matter, the Cassity / Bourne exchange was just that.

    The last time a extraordinarily weighty issue rose to this level in terms of decorum was the Death Penalty debate. Rep. Jim Sacia led the opposition that day. It was a proud moment in terms of what is possible when individuals who are passionate about a meaningful issue rise to the occasion.

  15. - Amalia - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 11:53 am:

    passage in the House is making me feel more empowered about my own destiny. the words put in, and removed, are deeply meaningful to women’s agency. thank you KC.

  16. - Perrid - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 11:56 am:

    See, Politix, this is what I’m talking about. You’re putting words in my mouth so you can make yourself feel self righteous. NO ONE is saying women have no value. No one. It’s not happening. There are people saying that “a clump of cells” have no value. I’ll stand by my statement.

    The fact that you think a declaration that babies have value is equivalent to saying women DON’T have value is nonsense, and most of the problem. The two statements can be, and in fact are, both true at the same time, which again was literally the point of my post.

  17. - Illiniana - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 11:57 am:

    Lakeside - in defense of Paprocki, he is a member of the Catholic Church not the Puritans so his “church” has considered “whoever deliberately commits abortion is subject to the penalty for homicide” according to St. Basil from the fourth century. Now, if Paprocki is referring to all Christians you have a very valid point.

  18. - RuralJewel - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 12:22 pm:

    I continue to be deeply dissappointed in Avery Bourne. She is not who I once knew her to be. While this debate was relatively drama free compared to other debates on this topic I am disturbed at the rhetoric that is trotted out all the same. The emotional arguments are used by both sides, but what it often boils down to is a disussion about legislating what medical decisions a female and her health professional can and cannot make.

  19. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 12:24 pm:

    Illiana -

    Bishops, even sainted bishops like Basil, do not have the authority to speak for the entire church.

    The Church held that a fetus was not embodied with a soul until the quickening all the way up until 1869, and that early abortion while sinful was not homicide but more of a sexual transgression.

    The philosophy that personhood begins at the quickening goes all the way back through St. Thomas to both Judaic Law and Aristotle.

  20. - Annonin' - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 12:35 pm:

    Bourne did o.k. .but making all the GOPie men stand and stare left a little “stalker” feel to the scene. Funny to hear to Paprocki after he was torched by the Illinois Times a few weeks back.

  21. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 12:41 pm:

    I don’t think it requires a spoiler alert to point out that leaders in the Abrahamic religions have often discovered exceptions, delivered rationalizations and even given blessings to violating “Thou Shall Not Kill,” for no better reasons than acquiring disputed real estate.

  22. - wordslinger - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 12:49 pm:

    –Bourne debate worth watching–

    Where do you rank it with the other Bournes? I thought Damon looked old and tired in “Jason Bourne,” kind of like Roger Moore in his last Bond flicks.

    Plus, Las Vegas was a cheesy choice for the climax, given the other more interesting locations in the series.

  23. - Politix - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 12:55 pm:

    Period: what you’re saying is “there are good people on both sides” and I am rejecting that argument. I disagree.

  24. - Honeybear - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 1:18 pm:

    I am thankful for all the inspiring women leaders.
    You know I’m even thankful for Rep Bourne. It did appear to be a civil debate. But my spirit goes out to those on the choice side who have received the most vile threats and abuse on every medium. Those women legislators have held strong against such awful vitriol. My two daughters are protected by their strength in bringing this vital protection to the fore. Thank you. As I said to most of them personally. You are so my hero.

  25. - Illiniana - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 1:34 pm:

    Thomas Paine - thank you for the response and you’re certainly right the church didn’t consider abortion homicide until 1869. As you stated, they have always considered it a sinful act though, which was subject to excommunication as early as 1588 (same as contraception).

    Based on that Paprocki would still be technically correct when he said they have “rejected the practice of abortion from the earliest days of the Church.” Now if he was referring to that rejection in regards to the church’s current stance that abortion is the same as homicide he would be incorrect.

  26. - Perrid - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 1:43 pm:

    Politix, I understand that. It’s much easier to say “Nope, I am completely right and people who disagree with me are not only wrong, they are immoral and therefore I don’t have to listen to a word they say that I disagree with”. That’s always easier to do. And the Right absolutely does the same thing. It doesn’t really work very well for anyone.

  27. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 1:53 pm:

    ===I am rejecting that argument===

    So what you’re saying is anyone who disagrees with your position is a ‘bad person’. Not one redeeming quality in any pro-lifer huh? Wow

  28. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 1:54 pm:

    Iliana -

    Paprocki’s statement more than implies that the position of the Catholic Church has been constant. It’s really the only fair reading of his statement.

    It seems like a clear violation of the catechism on the Eighth Commandment to me.

    When someone defends their statement as “technically true,” What they mean is that it was intentionally misleading.

  29. - Politix - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 2:40 pm:

    Cubs: Meh. If you are actively supporting or pursuing legislation that strips women of their agency, you’re not good.

  30. - Illiniana - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 3:41 pm:

    Thomas Paine - that is your interpretation of his statement, which I respect and may in fact be the case. I generally give people the benefit of doubt, which could be considered a fault of mine.

  31. - Thomas Paine - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 3:52 pm:

    Illiniana - his statement refers to fertilized eggs as children.

    Children have souls.

    That was not the view of The Church for most of its history.

    It’s not a question of interpretation or benefit of the doubt.

    The bishop is making misleading public statements, which is a violation of the Eighth Commandment.

    It’s a consistent problem for the Church, when you have an infallible Pope. In his defense.

  32. - Illiniana - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 4:14 pm:

    Thomas Paine- I took a look at his actual press release because I wanted to see if his attributed quotes in the news story were directly related to each other or snippets taken for the story before passing final judgement. They are indeed from the same paragraph, so I would say I agree with you.
    He is either a) intentionally misleading the church’s history on the stance or b) is ignorant to the church’s history on this issue. Both are a problem.

  33. - Cubs in '16 - Wednesday, May 29, 19 @ 6:09 pm:

    That’s how you issue an apology. Well done Mr. Cosgrove.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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