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State Laws

Illinois


Political Information

Executive (Governor)

Mixed-choice

Senate

Mixed-choice

House

Mixed-choice

Abortion-Care Policies

Abortion Providers

Abortion Providers: Restrictions

Illinois imposes extra restrictions on abortion providers, despite the fact that all health-care providers already must comply with a variety of federal and state regulations governing health, safety, building and fire codes, and zoning requirements.

Restrictions on Where Abortion Services May Be Provided

Illinois places medically unnecessary restrictions on where abortion services may be provided.

Illinois designates "any facility in which a medical or surgical procedure is utilized to terminate a pregnancy,"  regardless of the number of procedures performed and whether the facility is devoted primarily to this purpose, as a "pregnancy termination specialty center"-a type of ambulatory surgical treatment center.  Other non-abortion-related facilities are required to become licensed as ambulatory surgical treatment centers only if they are "devoted primarily" to the provision of surgery.  210 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. § 5/3(A) (Enacted 1973; Last Amended 1994).

A "pregnancy termination specialty center" is limited to providing abortion services up to 18 weeks, and must comply with a uniquely imposed licensure scheme that includes a variety of administrative, physical-plant, record-keeping, personnel, and patient-care requirements.  However, when Illinois’ regulations required this classification for facilities that provided even one abortion, a federal court held the regulations unenforceable. Ragsdale v. Turnock, 625 F. Supp 1212 (N.D. Ill. 1985).  

After a court held that the regulatory scheme "infring[ed] on the constitutional right of women to have an abortion," the parties settled the case with an agreement that enjoined enforcement of the more onerous provisions but permitted the state to continue to regulate outpatient abortion clinics in ways that are not medically justified.

Restrictions on Who May Provide Abortion Services

Illinois prohibits certain qualified health-care professionals from providing abortion services.

Only physicians licensed to practice medicine may provide abortion care.  720 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 510/3.1 (Enacted 1979; Last Amended 1989), 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 510/2(2) (Enacted 1975; Last Amended 1988).  

A court upheld Illinois’ physician-only requirement as applied to a chiropractor.  People v. White, 387 N.E.2d 728 (Ill. App. Ct. 1978), cert. denied, 444 U.S. 1090 (1980).


Abortion Providers: Expanded Access to Non-Surgical Abortion

The Illinois attorney general has issued an opinion concluding that physician assistants and advanced practice nurses may, in accordance with the statutory requirements and conditions governing their practices, provide mifepristone under the supervision of a qualified physician.  Ill. Op. Att’y Gen. No. 09-002 (March 5, 2009).  


Abortion Rights

Protections: State Consitutional Protection

A state court held that the Illinois Constitution protects the right to choose to a greater extent than the U.S. Constitution.  The court held that a law prohibiting state medical assistance for an abortion when necessary to protect a woman’s health is unconstitutional under the state constitution when state funding is available for abortion care when necessary to preserve her life.  Doe v. Wright, No. 91 CH 1958 (Ill. Cir. Ct. 1994).  This restriction has been upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court under the U.S. Constitution.  Williams v. Zbaraz, 448 U.S. 358 (1980).


Post-Viability Ban

Illinois’ post-viability restriction states that no abortion may be provided after viability unless necessary to preserve the woman’s life or health.  The physician must use the available method most likely to preserve the life and health of the fetus, and a second physician must attend.  720 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 510/5 (Enacted 1975; Last Amended 1984), 510/6 (Enacted 1975; Last Amended 1985).

NARAL Pro-Choice America supports the legal framework established in Roe v. Wade and does not oppose restrictions on post-viability abortions, such as Illinois’, that contain adequate exceptions to protect the woman’s life and health.


Abortion Bans Throughout Pregnancy: Procedure Ban

Illinois has an unconstitutional and unenforceable ban that outlaws abortion procedures as early as 12 weeks.  720 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 513/1, 513/5, 513/10, 513/20, 513/99 (Enacted 1997).

A court held that Illinois’ ban is unconstitutional because it has no exception to protect women’s health and unduly burdens a woman’s right to choose.  The court issued a permanent injunction prohibiting the law’s enforcement.  Hope Clinic v. Ryan, 249 F.3d 603 (7th Cir. 2001).  The U.S. Supreme Court previously held that a similar ban that has no exception to protect a woman’s health and that bans more than one procedure places an undue burden on a woman’s right to choose and is unconstitutional.  Stenberg v. Carhart, 530 U.S. 914 (2000).

Illinois’ unconstitutional and unenforceable law makes the provision of any abortion procedure that falls within a broad definition a felony, unless necessary to preserve the life of a woman endangered by a physical disorder, physical illness, or physical injury, including a life-endangering condition caused by or arising from the pregnancy itself, and no other medical procedure will suffice.  720 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 513/1, 513/5, 513/10, 513/20, 513/99 (Enacted 1997).

There is also a Federal Abortion Ban, which applies nationwide regardless of state law.  The federal ban prohibits the provision of certain second-trimester abortion procedures and has no exception for a woman’s health.  In April 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the ban, making it the first time since Roe v. Wade that the court has upheld a ban on a previability abortion procedure.  


Reasons-Based Ban: Race- and/or Sex Selection

Illinois bans abortion if sought solely for reasons of the sex of the pregnancy, with an exception for a sex-linked genetic disorder. 720 ILCS § 510/6(8). The court later blocked the provision as it relates to pre-viability abortion, making the law only apply post-viability. People v. Shoultz, No. 4-96-0311 (1994).


Biased Counseling

No state measure.

Mandatory Delays

No state measure.

Insurance Coverage & Abortion

Prohibits Abortion Coverage for Public Employees

Does Illinois expressly prohibit insurance plans for public employees from covering abortion services?

Yes.  Group health-insurance and health maintenance organization (HMO) plans paid for with state funds may not include abortion coverage, with an exception only to save a woman’s life.  Nothing in the law prohibits the purchase of abortion coverage through an optional rider for which an additional premium is paid.  However, insurers are not required to offer such riders and there is no evidence that such separate policies exist. (Even if they did exist, offering women the "option" to pay for separate abortion coverage is a false promise because no one plans for an unplanned pregnancy.)  5 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 375/6 (Original Statute Enacted 1971; Relevant Provision Enacted 1978; Last Amended 2003); 5 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 375/6.1 (Original Statute Enacted 1976; Relevant Provision Enacted 1983).


Supports Insurance Coverage of Contraception

Illinois law requires health-insurance plans that cover prescription medication to provide equitable coverage for contraception.

What is required?  If a health-insurance plan provides coverage for outpatient prescription medication or devices and outpatient services, it must provide coverage for all Food and Drug Administration-approved outpatient contraception and outpatient contraceptive services.

To which insurance plans does the law apply?  Individual and group health-insurance policies, including health maintenance organization policies, issued or renewed after January 1, 2004 that provide coverage for outpatient prescription medication or devices and outpatient services.

Does the law provide additional protections for women?  Yes.  An insurer may not impose any deductible, coinsurance, waiting period, or other cost-sharing or limitation that is greater than that required for any outpatient service or prescription drug or device otherwise covered by the policy.

Does the law contain a refusal clause, allowing certain employers and/or insurers to refuse to provide or pay for contraceptive coverage?  Yes.

What does the refusal clause allow? An insurance company may refuse to cover family-planning services that violate their religious beliefs.

Is the refusal clause overbroad, jeopardizing insurance coverage for contraception for women? Yes. The law permits insurers to refuse to provide contraceptive coverage. This broad refusal clause inappropriately includes insurers that operate in the public sphere.

Does the law require the refusing entity to notify the person affected?  No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised? No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to obtain contraceptive coverage if their insurer exercises a refusal clause?  No.

215 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/356z.4 (Enacted 2003); 215 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 125/5-3 (Enacted 2003). 745 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 70/13 (Enacted 1998).


Improves Insurance Coverage of Contraception

Coverage of All Unique FDA-Approved Products

What is required?  Illinois law builds upon federal law by requiring that insurers cover all unique therapeutic products for contraception without cost-sharing, including those available over the counter, except male condoms.  If a prescriber deems a certain contraceptive drug or device medically necessary for a patient, the insurer must cover it.  Insurers must also cover patient education and counseling on contraception, and related services, such as device insertion and removal.

To which insurance plans does the law apply?  All health-insurance plans issued, amended, renewed, or delivered in the state.  

Does the law contain a refusal clause, allowing certain employers and/or insurers to refuse to provide or pay for contraceptive coverage?  No.

2016 Ill. Laws P.A. 99-672.


Improves Insurance Coverage of Contraception

No Co-Pay for Contraception

Illinois prohibits insurers from imposing any cost-sharing on all unique FDA-approved contraceptive products. § 215 Ill Comp. Stat. Ann 5/356z.4(3)(i) (2016).


Improves Insurance Coverage of Contraception

Illinois law requires health-insurance plans to cover dispensing of a 12 month supply of prescription contraceptives.

What is required?  Health-insurance plans must cover dispensing of a 12-month supply of contraceptives. § 215 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 5/356z.4(3)(iv) (2016).


Low-Income Women & Abortion

Supports Low-Income Women’s Access to Abortion

Illinois allows women eligible for state medical assistance for general health care to obtain public funds for abortion services.  H.B.40, 100th Gen. Assem., Reg. Sess. (IL 2017) (to be codified at 305 Ill. Comp. Stat 5/5-5).


Young Women & Abortion

Parental Notice

Illinois law restricts young women’s access to abortion services by mandating parental notice.

Is the law enforceable?  Yes.

Who is considered a minor?  A young woman under the age of 18 who has never been married and is not emancipated under state law.

What is required – parental consent or parental notice?  Notice.

Who must be notified?  One parent.

Are there other trusted adults who may be notified instead?  Yes, the physician may notify a grandparent or legal guardian, or a step-parent living in the house, provided that person is over 21 years of age.

What is the process for providing notification?  A young woman may not obtain an abortion until at least 48 hours actual notice has been given in person or by telephone to a parent, grandparent, or step-parent living in the household.  If actual notice is not possible after a reasonable effort, 48-hour constructive notice by certified mail must be given.  If notice is given by certified mail, the 48-hour period begins at the time of the mailing.  Parental notice is not required if the pregnant woman is accompanied by a parent, grandparent or step-parent, or if notice is waived in writing by the person entitled to notice.

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman is a victim of rape or incest?  Yes, if the young woman declares in writing that she is a victim of sexual abuse by a parent, grandparent, or step-parent.

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman is a victim of child abuse?  Yes, if the young woman declares in writing that she is a victim of physical abuse or neglect by a parent, grandparent, or step-parent.

May the parental mandate be waived if a young woman’s health is threatened?  Yes, but only if the attending physician certifies that a medical emergency exists.  A medical emergency is defined as a medical condition that necessitates an immediate abortion to preserve the woman’s life or for which a delay will create "serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of major bodily function."

May the parental mandate be waived under any other circumstances?  Yes, the young woman may try to obtain permission from a judge.

If a young woman must obtain permission from a judge, what is the process?  She must secure a court order stating either that she is sufficiently mature and well informed enough to make her own decision or that notice is not in her best interest.

Are there other significant requirements under the law?  No.

Has a court considered the constitutionality of this law?  Yes.  In 1996, the Illinois district court issued a permanent injunction prohibiting enforcement of the state’s parental-notification law because of deficiencies in the judicial-bypass procedure, but did not reach any constitutional issues.  Zbaraz v. Ryan, No. 84 C 771 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 8, 1996).  Upon review in 2008, however, the Illinois district court found the statute unconstitutional on its face because it lacks language permiting a state court to authorize the consent for abortion.  On July 15, 2009, the Seventh Circuit said that the measure was "a permissible attempt to help a young woman make an informed choice about whether to have an abortion."  Zbaraz v. Madigan, No. 84 C 771, slip op. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 28, 2008), appeal docketed, No. 08-1620 (7th Cir. July 15, 2008).

Other information about the law:  None.

750 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 70/1, 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 (Enacted 1995).


Family-Planning Policies

Insurance Coverage & Contraception

No state measure.

Low-Income Women & Contraception

Supports Low-Income Women’s Access to Contraception

MEDICAID COVERAGE OF EMERGENCY CONTRACEPTION (EC)

Illinois provides Medicaid coverage of emergency contraception without a prescription.

Handbook for Providers of Pharmacy Services, Section P-204.7 (March, 2016), at http://www.illinois.gov/hfs/SiteCollectionDocuments/p200.pdf.


Emergency Contraception

EC in the ER

Illinois law ensures that sexual-assault survivors receive information about emergency contraception (EC) in hospital emergency rooms.  Hospitals providing emergency services to sexual-assault survivors must develop a protocol that ensures that survivors will receive medically and factually accurate written and oral information about EC, the indications, counter-indications, and risks associated with EC, and a description of how and when women can obtain EC upon written order of a licensed physician.

The Illinois Department of Health must approve all protocols for providing information about EC.  The protocol must require that information about EC be provided to the woman as soon as possible, and no later than 12 hours after she appears at the hospital for emergency care.  Sexual-assault survivors must also be referred to a physician for appropriate follow-up care.

410 Ill. Comp. Stat 70/2.2 (Enacted 2001); Ill. Admin. Code tit. 77, 545.20, -.35, -.60, -.95 (Effective Jan. 15, 2003).


Other Important Issues

Clinic Protections

No state measure.

Crisis Pregnancy Centers

No state measure.

Refusals & Guarantees

Refusals of Medical Care

ABORTION REFUSAL CLAUSE

Illinois allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to provide abortion services.

To whom does the refusal clause apply?  Physicians, health-care facilities, or employees thereof.

What does the refusal clause allow?  Allows physicians, health-care facilities, or employees thereof who object in writing on grounds of conscience to refuse to participate in abortion care.  The refusal of a person to perform, counsel, refer, or participate in abortion services may not be a basis for civil or criminal liability or for discrimination, including in employment, education, and the granting of public aid or benefits. No employer, training institution, or other entity may refer in its application form to or orally question an applicant about refusal to participate.  

The refusal of an HMO, insurance company, or other health-care payer to pay for abortion services, contrary to the payer’s conscience as recorded in its governing documents, may not be a basis for civil or criminal liability or for discrimination, including in the granting of licenses, authorizations, aid, and benefits.

Must the refusal be in writing?  Yes.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to notify the persons affected?  No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised?  No.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for abortion services?  No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause?  No.

745 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 70/1 to 11 (Enacted 1977; Last Amended 1998); 745 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 70/11.2 to 11.4 (Enacted 1998); 745 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 70/12 to 14 (Enacted 1977; Last Amended 1998); 745 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 30/1 (Enacted 1973); 720 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 510/13 (Enacted 1975, Amended 1979).

HEALTH-CARE PROVIDER AND HEALTH-CARE INSTITUTION REFUSAL CLAUSES

Illinois allows certain individuals or entities to refuse to comply with individual health-care instructions or decisions based on conscience.

To whom does the refusal clause apply?  Health-care providers and health-care institutions.

What does the refusal clause allow?  No physicians or health-care personnel may be found civilly or criminally liable for refusing to perform, assist, counsel, suggest, recommend, refer, or participate in a health-care service for reasons of conscience.  No person, association, or corporation that owns, operates, supervises, or manages a health-care facility may be found civilly or criminally liable for refusing to permit or provide a health service that violates the facility’s governing documents.  No health-care payer may be found civilly or criminally liable for refusing to pay or arrange for payment of a health-care service for reasons of conscience.

It is unlawful to discriminate against a health-care provider, or person, association, or corporation that owns, operates, supervises, or manages a health-care facility, or health-care payer for refusing to permit or provide a health service.

Does the law require the refusing entity to notify the persons affected?  No.

Are there circumstances under which a refusal clause may not be exercised?  No.

Does the law require the refusing individual or entity to provide medically and factually accurate information or provide a referral for the requested health service?  No.

Does the law provide a mechanism for women to otherwise obtain specific reproductive-health services, information, or referrals if an individual and/or entity exercises a refusal clause?  No.

Has a court considered the constitutionality of this refusal clause?  In September 2012, an Illinois court found that this refusal law allows specific pharmacies to refuse to dispense emergency contraception.  These plaintiffs had challenged the state’s guaranteed access to birth-control law.  The court ruled that the state may not enforce the regulation against these plaintiffs.

745 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 70/1 to 11 (Enacted 1977; Last Amended 1998); 745 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 70/11.2 to 11.4 (Enacted 1998); 745 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 70/12 to 14 (Enacted 1977; Last Amended 1998).


Guarantees Access to Prescriptions

In 2005, Illinois enacted a rule that guaranteed that women’s birth-control prescriptions would be filled.  Upon receipt of a valid and lawful prescription for contraception, a pharmacy was required to dispense the contraceptive or a suitable alternative without delay.  Ill. Admin. Code tit. 68, § 1330.91 (Enacted 2005; Last Amended 2008).

This law was challenged in court.  Menges v. Blagojevich, No. 3:05-CV-O3307-JES-BGC (C.D. Ill. filed Dec. 21, 2005); Morr-Fitz, Inc. v. Blagojevich, No. 104692 (Ill. filed May 23, 2007); Vandersand v. Wal-Mart, No. 3:06-CV-03292-JES-DGB (C.D. Ill. filed Dec. 11, 2006).  Parties reached a settlement agreement in the Menges and Vandersand cases, providing for an amendment to the law that would allow pharmacies to work by electronic communication with an off-site pharmacist to process the request if an individual pharmacist objected to dispensing the medication and no other pharmacist was available on-site.

In December 2008, the Supreme Court of Illinois reversed a lower court’s dismissal of the pharmacies’ complaint in the Morr-Fitz case, sending the case back to the lower courts without ruling on the merits of the regulation. Morr-Fitz, Inc. v. Blagojevich, No. 104692 (Ill. 12/18/08).  In August 2009, a county circuit court judge granted a preliminary injunction preventing the state from enforcing the law against the pharmacies until the court made a final decision on the merits of the claim.  Morr-Fitz, Inc. v. Blagojevich, No. 05CH495 (Ill. 08/21/09).

On April 29, 2010, Illinois repealed the 2005 rule and replaced it with a new, broader regulation, one part of which requires pharmacies to dispense women’s birth control.  Upon receipt of a valid prescription for lawfully prescribed medication, or upon request for nonprescription medication approved by the FDA for behind-the-counter distribution by pharmacies, a pharmacy was required to dispense the medication or a suitable alternative in a timely manner.  If the pharmacy did not have the medication or an alternative in stock, the pharmacy was required to obtain it in a manner consistent with customary pharmacy practice.  In the alternative, a patient may have chosen to have the prescription transferred to a different pharmacy or have the prescription returned.  Ill. Admin. Code tit. 68, § 1330.500(e-h) (Enacted 2010).

On May 28, 2010, in light of the new rule, the judge in the Morr-Fitz case expanded the August 2009 preliminary injunction that exempted the pharmacies in the case from complying with the law.  The judge did so to allow them to decline to stock or dispense emergency contraception and to allow them to file an amended complaint given the new rules.  Morr-Fitz, Inc. v. Blagojevich, No. 05CH495 (Ill. 05/28/10).

On April 5, 2011, the judge declared the law invalid as a violation under state and federal religious freedom laws and the state was enjoined from enforcing it.  Morr-Fitz, Inc. v. Blagojevich, No. 05CH495 (Ill. 04/5/11).  The state appealed the decision.  In September 2012, an appellate court reversed part of the lower court’s ruling. The court ruled that the injunction applies only to the pharmacies in this specific case, not all pharmacies or pharmacists in the state.  This decision allows the state to enforce the rule, which is now back in effect. Morr-Fitz, Inc. v. Blagojevich, No. 4-11-0398 (Ill.App.4th 9/20/12).


Guarantees Access to Prescriptions

In 2010, Illinois issued a broad regulation, one part of which requires pharmacies to dispense women’s birth control.  Upon receipt of a valid prescription for lawfully prescribed medication, or upon request for nonprescription medication approved by the FDA for behind-the-counter distribution by pharmacies, a pharmacy was required to dispense the medication or a suitable alternative in a timely manner.  If the pharmacy did not have the medication or an alternative in stock, the pharmacy was required to obtain it in a manner consistent with customary pharmacy practice.  In the alternative, a patient may have chosen to have the prescription transferred to a different pharmacy or have the prescription returned.  Ill. Admin. Code tit. 68, § 1330.500(e-h) (Enacted 2010).

On May 28, 2010, in light of this new rule, the judge in the Morr-Fitz case expanded an existing preliminary injunction exempting the pharmacies in the case from complying with the rule.  The judge did so to allow them to decline to stock or dispense emergency contraception and to allow them to file an amended complaint given the new rules.  Morr-Fitz, Inc. v. Blagojevich, No. 05CH495 (Ill. 05/28/10).

On April 5, 2011, the judge declared the law invalid as a violation under state and federal religious freedom laws and the state was enjoined from enforcing it.  Morr-Fitz, Inc. v. Blagojevich, No. 05CH495 (Ill. 04/5/11).  The state appealed the decision.  In September 2012, an appellate court reversed part of the lower court’s ruling. The court ruled that the injunction applies only to the pharmacies in this specific case, not all pharmacies or pharmacists in the state.  This decision allows the state to enforce the rule, which is now back in effect. Morr-Fitz, Inc. v. Blagojevich, No. 4-11-0398 (Ill.App.4th 9/20/12).


Counseling & Referral Bans

Counseling & Referral Ban

Grants provided by the Department of Health Services to nonprofit agencies and organizations under the "Problem Pregnancy Health Services and Care Act," which is designed "to expand and improve the availability of, and access to, needed comprehensive community services which assist problem pregnancies and to obtain proper care and assistance to those persons in need," may not be used to refer or counsel for abortion.  410 Ill. Comp. Stat. Ann. 230/1-100 (Enacted 1979; Last Amended 1991), 2-100 (Enacted 1979), 3-101 (Enacted 1979; Last Amended 1997), 4-100 (Enacted 1979; Last Amended 1984); Ill. Admin. Code tit. 77, § 655.10.

A court held that a previous version of this law that prevented organizations that referred or counseled for abortion from receiving state problem-pregnancy funds was unconstitutional.  In addition, the court held that the previous version’s counseling restriction unconstitutionally "manipulate[d] the information available to pregnant women."  Planned Parenthood Ass’n-Chicago Area v. Kempiners, 568 F.Supp. 1490 (N.D. Ill. 1983).


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