Senator Melinda Bush presenting the Reproductive Health Act on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – The Reproductive Health Act, which repeals outdated abortion laws that have been blocked by the courts and ensures that reproductive health care is treated like all other health care and not as a crime, passed out of the Illinois Senate today.

“As states across the country pass dangerous laws restricting access to abortion, we in Illinois are standing with women and guaranteeing access to reproductive health care,” said State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake), chief sponsor of Senate Bill 25. “There’s a very real possibility that Roe v. Wade will be overturned in the next few years. The Reproductive Health Act guarantees that women in Illinois have the right to make decisions about their bodies, regardless of what happens at the federal level.”

The Reproductive Health Act provides a critical update and modernization to Illinois’ outdated law. It codifies regulations that reflect current standards of medical practice and repeals state laws that are not in effect and not enforced because of court rulings.

“Women across the country are seeing their rights taken away,” Bush said. “To them we say, ‘You will not be discriminated against here. You have rights here. We respect your right to make decisions about your body here.’”

The Reproductive Health Act:
• Repeals felony penalties imposed on doctors for offering abortion care and some contraceptives
• Removes the requirement that a married woman be required to get her husband’s consent to an abortion
• Lifts disciplinary penalties adopted decades ago aimed solely at physicians who perform abortions
• Protects assisted reproductive techniques like in-vitro fertilization
• Treats the cost of abortion like all other medical expenses
• Requires insurance companies (not multi-state plans) to provide coverage for abortions without cost-sharing requirements


###

Category: Press Releases

Senator Melinda Bush speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Victims of revenge porn could seek civil damages from their perpetrator under a bill from State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) that passed in the Senate today.

“When a person shares private photos of another individual without their consent, it can ruin that person’s life,” Bush said. “While we can’t undo the damage revenge porn causes, we can help provide victims with the ability to hold perpetrators accountable for the harm they cause.”

Senate Bill 1507 allows victims of revenge porn to recover economic, non-economic and punitive damages from individuals who disseminate or threaten to disseminate private sexual images without their consent. It also gives victims more privacy protections in court documents by allowing them to have their names redacted or use a pseudonym.

“Distributing intimate images of an individual without their consent can ruin a person’s reputation, hurt career prospects, and lead to emotional distress and loss of income,” Bush said. “This measure will help victims recoup some of the financial and emotional costs of revenge porn.”

The measure was introduced after a criminal indictment was brought against disgraced former state Rep. Nick Sauer following allegations that he used sexually explicit images of his ex-girlfriend to ‘catfish’ other men.

Having passed both chambers, the bill will be sent to the governor for approval.

###

Category: Press Releases

Senator Melinda Bush speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – Residents in Lake County can breathe a sigh of relief after two bills sponsored by State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) that crack down on the toxic chemical ethylene oxide advanced out of the Illinois Senate today.

“Lake County residents can soon rest assured that the air they’re breathing is safe from ethylene oxide,” Bush said. “These new regulations will allow the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to keep a close eye on Medline and Vantage and make sure they’re meeting these strict environmental safeguards.”

Senate Bill 1852 puts restrictions on facilities like Medline and Sterigenics that use ethylene oxide for sterilization. The measure requires facilities to reduce emissions by 99.9 percent; sets emissions, dispersion and ambient air testing protocols; strengthens seal order implications and prevents future facilities from being built near schools and parks.

Senate Bill 1854 requires Vantage Specialty Chemicals, a Lake County manufacturer that uses ethylene oxide in its products, to put in place several environmental safeguards in order to continue operating. It requires Vantage to have an Illinois Environmental Protection Agency-approved emission monitoring plan and dispersion modeling in order to receive a site-specific permit for ethylene oxide emissions.

Last year, the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry released a report showing that the areas around Sterigenics in DuPage County and Medline in Lake County have increased rates of cancer due to ethylene oxide emissions.

“When it comes to ethylene oxide, public safety has to be the top priority,” Bush said. “These new restrictions prioritize the health and safety of Illinoisans while still allowing companies that use ethylene oxide to continue operating so long as they do so in a responsible manner.”

###

Category: Press Releases

Senator Melinda Bush speaks on the Senate floorSPRINGFIELD – State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake) released the following statement regarding the Senate’s vote to legalize adult-use cannabis:

“My belief has always been that if we’re going to legalize adult-use cannabis, we need to do it right. This is a comprehensive piece of legislation that’s years in the making. I believe this measure promotes equity and justice while providing law enforcement with the resources they need to adapt to this new standard of law.”

###

Category: Press Releases

opioid crisis button