CHICAGO - State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) joined Rev. Ceasar LeFlore, Bishop Lance Davis and other Chicago area black pastors on Thursday to call for the passage of legislation that would protect the health and safety of women by requiring that all Illinois facilities that perform abortions meet the same standards as ambulatory surgical centers. A second bill would also increase the depth of information provided prior to an abortion and require the offering of an ultrasound to every patient.
According to Morrison, the legislation stems from the tragic death of Tonya Reaves, who bled to death following an abortion in a Chicago Planned Parenthood clinic.
“Today’s laws do not guarantee the safety of a woman who chooses to have an abortion and there is no set standard for clinic safety,” said Morrison. “These two bills aim to improve safety and disclosure requirements so that what happened in the Reaves case doesn’t happen again.”
According to the provisions of House Bill 5462, clinics that are utilized to terminate 50 or more pregnancies in any calendar year would be subject to the provisions of the Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center Act. The bill also would require a physician to remain on site during the day when an abortion is performed and provides that the physician must have admitting privileges at a hospital that is located within 30 miles of the center or clinic.
House Bill 5462, also filed this week, adds to the level of informed consent that must be provided by a patient a minimum of 24 hours prior to a procedure, and also requires a physician to offer patients an opportunity to receive an ultrasound and a physical picture of the ultrasound image when the equipment is available.
“This is about informed consent and clinic safety that ensures that women who choose to have abortions are receiving quality care before, during and after the procedure,” Morrison said. “Especially if a complication occurs during the procedure, it is imperative that reporting guidelines are strengthened so that the patient can receive proper follow-up care.”