JP Pritzker.jpg

Yesterday, J.B. Pritzker, governor of Illinois, signed a new law that establishes access to abortions for women in his state, as a “fundamental right” for women.

In the press conference held after the signing he said: "When I became governor, I promised that Illinois would become a national leader in protecting reproductive rights, with the signing of the Reproductive Health Act, I'm keeping that promise".

As you know, over the past couple of months, several states in the US have passed restrictive abortion laws, practically banning abortions altogether from 6 weeks.

Louisiana, Ohio, Kentucky, Mississippi and Georgia passed similar bills, while Alabama passed a near-total ban on abortions, with no exceptions for rape or incest. Missouri also passed a law that bans abortions after eight weeks, and will have no exceptions for cases of rape or incest.

In reaction to the above several states have hit back.

In his press conference, Pritzker criticised the restrictive abortion laws. The new Illinois law basically voids abortion regulations that were on the books but had never taken effect because of court orders. These restrictions included late-term abortions and criminal penalties for doctors who perform abortions.

Pritzker added “In a time when too many states across the nation are taking a step backward, Illinois is taking a giant step forward for women’s health. In this state, we trust women".

Illinois is not the only state in the US that is pushing back. In New York, senator Liz Krueger pushed to approve the 1973 Supreme Court Roe v Wade ruling through the Reproductive Health Act, and in Nevada, state senator Yvanna Cancela helped pass the Trust Nevada Women Act, which was signed into law on May 31.

That's it with the update, now for some thoughts.

I think it's great that some people still "trust women". In fact, as I have said on many occasions - this really is the ONLY issue we should be discussing when it comes to abortions so I'm happy it was mentioned in the press conference and brought to the front.

I am however sad that this whole thing feels a bit like war. That there is such a big division and so much anger around the topic. And that people have so much hate and fear in them whenever difficult issues rise.

But most of all, I'm sad that most of us still feel we have to live in a 'black and white world'.

My own experience has taught me that this is not how the world actually is but that we make it that way with only ever seeing two options in front of us.

When it comes to the 'abortion debate', I've said on many occasions that what you would choose for yourself can be one thing, and that it does not have to contradict supporting another person's choice for themselves.

In other words, you can be both pro life and pro choice.

The other thing worth mentioning is that with all the restrictions on the one hand, and the fact that different places allow different things on the other hand, it all boils down to women with the financial means being able to travel to states where they can terminate unwanted pregnancies, while those who cannot afford to do so won't.

Statistically speaking, seventy-five percent of abortion patients in the US in 2016 were poor or low-income, and I do wonder how the bans will effect these numbers. It's most likely that these bans will hit people struggling to make ends meet the hardest and that's something we should all seriously consider.