CHICAGO - This fall Illinois voters will get to weigh in on birth control and religious liberty. The ballot in November will have a question asking voters whether they think any health insurance policy written in Illinois should be required by law to cover birth control, regardless of the employer's religious beliefs.
Jim Anderson of Illinois Radio Network reports that Kim Foxx (photo right), the board president of Planned Parenthood Illinois, hopes the referendum passes, especially in the wake of the Hobby Lobby decision.
"We hope the referendum gives the women and men of Illinois the voice to say enough! Birth control is basic health care," Foxx said. "Let women get the basic health care we need, and stay out of medical decisions we make with our medical providers and our families."
Foxx, who is also Chief of Staff to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, does believe, however, that employers should be involved in women's medical decisions when it comes to paying for them.
Illinois law has required health insurance policies that provide coverage for outpatient services and outpatient prescription drugs or devices to cover birth control since 2004. So the ballot measure is seen by most political analysts as a election-year stunt to increase Democrat turnout in November.
Gov. Pat Quinn signed the bill to put this measure on the ballot. The campaign of Republican governor candidate Bruce Rauner says Rauner supports the current law requiring coverage for contraception.