SPRINGFIELD – A steadfast advocate for women’s reproductive health care, State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) was proud to cast her vote for monumental legislation to prioritize the health and safety of young women.

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“When we think of reproductive health care and parenting resources, we often think of established adults starting families,” Bush said. “But the reality is thousands of teenagers across our state are struggling every day with where to turn during an unplanned pregnancy. By prioritizing the health of our young women of today, we are prioritizing the health of future generations.”

The measure creates the Youth Health and Safety Advisory Working Group to identify existing and needed resources for young women who are pregnant or may become pregnant. The group – made up of both adults and youth – will focus on topics teenagers should know about, including consent to medical care, counseling services and insurance coverage, among other items.

To ensure more young parents are better equipped to serve their new families, the group will also provide information and resources that encourage and support communication between youth and their families, and information related to education, employment, housing, food access, and child care.

Since first entering the General Assembly, Bush has fought for the health care rights of women of all ages. She championed a law in 2017 that ensures Illinois women would still have access to safe and legal abortions should the Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade. She also led the monumental 2019 Reproductive Health Act, which repealed outdated abortion laws that have been blocked by the courts and ensured reproductive health care is treated like all other health care, and not as a crime.

“Access to sexual and reproductive health care starting at a young age is crucial,” Bush said. “By providing resources and education, we are giving young girls vital information to allow for free expression and bodily autonomy.”

House Bill 370 passed the Senate Tuesday. It now heads to the House for further consideration.

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Springfield Office:
218 Capitol Building
Springfield, IL 62706
Phone: (217) 782-7353

District Office:
10 N. Lake St., Suite 112
Grayslake, IL 60030
Phone: (847) 548-5631