A bill blocking Illinois from requiring employees to embark on state-funded or sponsored travel to states with pro-life protections in place was filed late last month.
Championed by Democratic state Rep. Daniel Didech, the bill specifically seeks to prohibit travel to states with laws banning abortions after eight weeks, restricting abortions after a heartbeat is detected, potentially requiring an investigation if a woman has a miscarriage, or blocking abortions for victims of rape or incest.
It was filed on Sept. 26 and does allow for exemptions.
The bill would leave it up to the state attorney general — who is now Democrat Kwame Raoul — to publish a list of states that have enacted these types of laws.
“This bill is yet another indicator that Illinois legislators will cast aside all other priorities to force abortion down the throats of our state residents,” Mary Kate Knorr, executive director of Illinois Right to Life, told Faithwire. “Rep. Didech, who introduced the bill, is clearly more concerned with his own political capital than he is with protecting the health and well-being of women, both in Illinois and elsewhere.”
Didech has served in the state House since January. He is an attorney from Buffalo Grove who has worked at Jewish Child & Family Services where he advocated for children with special needs and their families, according to his state House biography.
In an interview with The State Journal-Register, Didech said he filed the bill to safeguard pregnant employees who might travel to one of these states.
“This is not like a boycott of those states or anything like that, although, in effect, it may look similar,” Didech told the newspaper. “The purpose of the bill is to protect women who may not be able to get the health care they may need when they’re traveling on official state business.”
However, Didech said states passing pro-life legislation are “dangerous.”
Several states have attempted to enact legislation protecting life in recent months. Missouri, Illinois’ neighbor, is embroiled in a legal battle over an attempt to ban abortions at eight, 14, 18, or 20 weeks. A federal judge has blocked the law from fully going into effect.
Earlier this year, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, signed abortion protections into law for his state. The bill eliminated waiting periods and certain restrictions on abortion facilities as well as appealed the Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act, according to Fox News. The law said a “fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the law” in Illinois.
Bishop Paprocki, of Springfield, Illinois, banned pro-abortion lawmakers from taking communion following the passage of the bill.