The Illinois House has endorsed expanded abortion protections as a half-dozen other states strive to restrict the procedure.
Chicago Democratic Rep. Kelly Cassidy's Reproductive Health Act was approved 64-50 Monday. It rescinds 45-year-old regulations on abortion which court injunctions have long blocked. It requires insurance coverage for abortions, contraception and related medical care.
Cassidy repeatedly maintained that the measure simply codifies existing practice. She says restrictions in other states will become tests for a U.S. Supreme Court with two recent appointees who oppose the 1973 Roe v. Wade opinion legalizing abortion.
Republicans strenuously objected. Rep. Avery Bourne of Raymond called the plan a "broad expansion" of abortion and would make late-term abortions widely available despite the viability of a fetus outside the womb.
The bill moves to the Senate. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn its spring session on Friday.