In Illinois, Tanning Salons Now Get More Oversight Than Abortion Facilities

In Illinois, Tanning Salons Now Get More Oversight Than Abortion Facilities

In Illinois, tanning salons and barbershops face stricter scrutiny than abortion facilities.
Amy Gehrke
By

As MSNBC’s Dean Obeidallah compares pro-life advocates’ treatment of women to that of the Taliban, Illinois is endangering women by permitting abortion facilities to operate virtually unchecked and with no regard for safety, thanks to the “Reproductive Health Act” (RHA) signed into law by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Illinois wasn’t always a haven of abortion extremism. In 2017, former Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill expanding taxpayer funding of abortion by permitting Medicaid funds to be used for elective abortions. The bill also repealed the state’s “trigger law,” a decades-old precedent that would have automatically outlawed abortion in Illinois once the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade.

Soon after, in 2019, Pritzker signed the RHA into law. Not only did this strip away all protections for preborn children, declaring a “fetus does not have independent rights under the laws of this State,” the RHA removed health and safety protections for women by removing state oversight and allowing abortion providers to police themselves.

Abortion centers now fall outside the realm of standard Illinois health facility regulations, allowed to conduct their deadly business as they please. Does this sound like an industry that cares for women’s health?

This disregard for women is par for the course throughout the abortion industry and is protected by politicians beholden to the millions in donations they receive from the industry and its supporters. If abortion advocates have their way, egregious laws like those in Illinois could become the law of the land across America.

We know abortion can cause severe psychological trauma in women, not to mention the risk of physical injury or death. At every turn, the abortion industry casts women’s health and safety aside in order to prevent reasonable protective measures from interfering with their gargantuan profits.

Additionally, of course, every abortion takes the life of a preborn child. The vast majority of biologists, 96 percent, affirm that a unique human life is created at the moment of conception.

When the “Reproductive Health Act” (RHA) was moving through the Illinois legislature, abortion advocates simply said its purpose was to codify the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision forcing all states to legalize abortion. Nothing could have been further from the truth. The RHA eradicated almost all protections for women undergoing abortions.

It enshrined abortion on demand, for any reason up to the point of fetal viability (and for vaguely-defined reasons of maternal “health” thereafter), into Illinois law. The RHA actually prevents local municipalities from licensing, regulating, or inspecting abortion centers in their communities.

The RHA specifically removed a clause about abortion facilities from Illinois’s “Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center Act,” which used to require an abortion facility to have a licensed physician on its board in order for the facility to obtain a license. In Illinois, tanning salons and barbershops face stricter scrutiny than abortion facilities.

Because of the RHA, if a woman dies in an abortion facility, it’s possible there could never be an investigation. Because the RHA simply requires abortion facilities to self-report, they can more easily destroy evidence, covering up any negligence or criminal activity taking place at an abortion facility.

Illinois is not the only state with radical abortion laws. New York and New Mexico passed similar bills, and the Vermont Senate passed a similar amendment in April that will likely go to a popular referendum next year. Extremist abortion advocates in the U.S. Congress introduced a bill in June that would do on the national level what the RHA did in Illinois.

Abortion is a human rights issue, but not in the way most abortion advocates say it is. Right-to-life advocates, many of whom are women, are simply working to protect women and their children from the radical abortion industry.

Unlike the abortion industry, pro-life advocates tell women they are strong enough to face their pregnancies and still achieve all of their goals and dreams. They provide women the emotional and practical resources they need to choose life over death.

It only took a few short years for Illinois to become the abortion mecca of the Midwest with little regard for women’s health. The same could happen across America.

Amy Gehrke is the Executive Director of Illinois Right to Life. She has over 30 years of experience in public relations and development in the pro-life movement. Her work has appeared in the Chicago Sun-Times, Sebastian's Point, and she has presented on the topics of pro-life messaging and strategy to hundreds throughout her career.

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