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Illinois bill allows out-of-state minors to apply for taxpayer funded abortions

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(The Center Square) – A measure allowing minors from out-of-state to come to Illinois and apply for public funds to get an abortion through the state’s Family Planning Program is now ready to be sent to the governor.

State Sen. Senator Celina Villanueva, D-Chicago, sponsored House Bill 5239 in the Senate and said the bill will allow minors to apply on their own behalf for financial aid for the taxpayer funded Family Planning Program.

“It also grants a private right of action to any person whose information is improperly shared or against any state or local entity that assists in imposing civil or criminal liability for lawful healthcare in the state of Illinois,” said Villanueva.

The measure would ensure that units of local governments in that state could not assist in imposing a civil or criminal liability against a person who received an abortion or gender hormone therapies and/or gender-transition surgeries in Illinois.

Over 20 states have banned gender-transitioning surgeries for minors, including Iowa and Indiana.

State Sen Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, asked Villanueva if she was concerned that minors traveling from out-of-state for public funds would be doing so without a parent.

“Does it concern you that we have no age requirement for the minor child and no parental supervision for this action?” asked Tracy.

Villanueva said it concerns her that young people can’t trust their parents to help them acquire these services she said they might need in order to make healthy decisions with their bodies.

Tracy raised concerns about the risk of human traffickers and rapists using the bill, if enacted, to terminate evidence of them raping minors. The bill, if enacted, prohibits Illinois entities from providing any information in furtherance of any interstate investigation seeking to impose criminal liability upon a person or entity for seeking abortion services or gender transitioning surgery. The bill also prohibits the state from providing information about individuals for assisting individuals who receive or seek an abortion or gender transitioning surgery.

“A minor child could be raped by their stepfather living in Missouri brought to Illinois, sign up for public aid and we help her get an abortion and pay for it all the while covering up the acts of her stepfather,” said Tracy. “And this information can not be used or found out by the state of Missouri, who may be watching the individual. The custodial parent, the mother, may have no idea that this even happened. These scenarios aren’t some aluminum hat theories. They’re happening every day.”

Villanueva said the government can provide information and prosecute rapists, but under the bill what it can not do is provide information that assists in the prosecution of minors for getting an abortion.

“In Texas, there is an individual who is seeking to depose an ex-partner for her audacity to go to another state that has legal abortion to try and get as much information about the who, what, when, where and why. They want to overreach in the state of Texas to try to come to other states and tell us what we can and cannot do with our bodies. In Illinois, we do care about children but we also care about body autonomy,” said Villanueva.

The bill passed the Senate along party lines with 19 voting “no.”

“We’re using public, Illinois taxpayer funds to aid and abet criminals in some of these scenarios,” said Tracy. “We can’t be providing cover for human traffickers and rape of minor children. Is it right that Illinois taxpayers are going to provide these services at their expense to minor children without the knowledge of their parents,” said Tracy.