City Council approves ordinance barring local officials from cooperating with state anti-abortion investigations

City Council approves ordinance barring local officials from cooperating with state anti-abortion investigations

An ordinance to bar local officials from cooperating with any investigation by another state regarding access to abortion or gender-affirming care was passed by the city council on Wednesday.

The “Bodily Autonomy Ordinance”, introduced by Ald. Carlos Ramirez-Rosa, Ald. Rossana Rodriguez-Sanchez and Ald. Matt Martin, codifies the bans originally introduced by Mayor Lori Lightfoot in a July 2022 executive order. Both measures are seen as local responses to the Jackson v. Dobbs decision, allowing individual states to prohibit abortion access and reversing nearly 50 years of legal precedent set by Roe v. Wade in 1973.

As several neighboring states moved to ban abortion in the weeks and months following the Jackson v. Dobbs decision, Illinois state and local leaders have vehemently defended the state’s status as a safe haven for abortion access and gender-affirming health care.

According to Lightfoot’s office, the city will work with the Chicago Commission on Human Relations, the Mayor’s Advisory Council on Women, and the LGBTQ+ Advisory Council to inform citywide policy on how to respond. to a demand for an anti-abortion state.

The ordinance came as neighboring Indiana saw a law banning abortions in almost all cases go into effect across the state last week.

While many surrounding states had “trigger laws” to ban abortion, taking effect immediately after Jackson v. Dobbs decision, Illinois had implemented a trigger law to protect access to abortion.

The Reproductive Health Act, which codified abortion access into Illinois law in the case of Roe v. Wade being overthrown, was signed by the Governor. JB Pritzker in 2019.

Prior to the signing of the RHA, former Governor. Bruce Rauner signed a bill in 2017 that allows public health insurance to cover abortion costs.

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