House committee passes anti-abortion bills

House committee passes anti-abortion bills

SPRINGFIELD — Two anti-abortion bills sailed through a friendly House committee Tuesday although their fate in the full House is less assured.

One bill (HB 4085) would require that any physician in Illinois performing an abortion first offer the pregnant woman the opportunity to view an ultrasound of the unborn baby. The legislation cleared the House Agriculture Committee, 11-2. The two "no" votes came from Reps. Naomi Jakobsson, D-Urbana, and Deborah Mell, D-Chicago. Among those voting "yes" were Reps. Chad Hays, R-Catlin, and Jason Barickman, R-Champaign.

Tuesday's hearing included an emotional exchange between Jakobsson and the bill's sponsor, Rep. Joseph Lyons, D-Chicago.

"(Y)ou are hoping that after a woman sees this, you are hoping that she is discouraged from having an abortion?" Jakobsson asked.

"I think it gives the human face to the procedure, when they see the heartbeat and see that it's not just a procedure like getting your tonsils taken out or having an appendectomy," Lyons said. "It's the idea of trying to put a face, a touch, on the whole process. And if it saves one life, Naomi, is that a bad thing? If it saves one life, would that be a bad idea?"

Jakobsson responded, "I think what you are getting at is trying to discourage the woman from trying to protect her life."

Lyons called the legislation "a pro-choice bill. A woman has the choice to say no. Most women will. This doesn't force this on any woman. It just says, would you like to see the ultrasound?"

Dr. Allison Cowett, director of gynecologic ultrasound at the University of Illinois at Chicago, condemned the legislation as a "measure to destroy the relationship between a doctor and her patient."

She said the proposal could be traumatic for some of her patients, particularly those who have been victims of incest or rape. She cited a rape victim who turned away when Cowett displayed the fetus on an ultrasound.

"How can we legislate traumatizing a patient in that way?" she said. "How insulting to a woman who has been brutally raped and, to add insult to injury, you force her to sign a paper that says she refuses to view an ultrasound."

The second bill, HB 4117, which was approved by the committee 12-2, would provide that any ambulatory surgical treatment center that provides 50 or more abortions a year would have to meet more rigorous health standards.

But Colleen Connell, executive director of the ACLU of Illinois, said the legislation "could very well force many of the remaining women's health care facilities to close," including physician's offices.

"This is imposing regulations that federal courts previously had found to be unconstitutional," she said. "This is not really about women's health care. It is really an unfortunate effort to impose unnecessary regulations for an ideological reason."

Jakobsson said the bills face uncertain futures, after clearing a committee made up primarily of conservative downstate Republicans and Democrats.

The bills "weren't successful before, and I'm hopeful that they still won't be successful this spring," she said.

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opinions1973 wrote on February 21, 2012 at 11:02 pm

Does anyone else find it ironic that the Agriculture Committee is the one voting on this?   Shouldn't there be a more appropriate committee to deal with these issues?  Maybe if these comittees focussed on what they were originally intended to be on our government and state would not be in the shape it is. 

sgraham48 wrote on February 22, 2012 at 2:02 am

My thought too....why the Agriculture Committee....and your point about staying on task is so appropriate.....the Ag Comm?  I'm still puzzled.

thelowedown wrote on February 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm

The Ag Committee is stocked with conservative Dems & ultraconservative GOP members so that those folks can have a forum to push their pet issues that are non-ag and wouldn't get light anywhere else. For example, the concealed carry bill that failed on the House floor last year went through Ag b/c it was the committee that could pass it.

vcponsardin wrote on February 22, 2012 at 9:02 am

When will legislators just leave the practice of medicine to physicians?  Nobody would want their local state representative in the operatiting room telling the surgeon how to perform a bypass on their heart or ordering the surgeon around while he was trying to remove your child's appendix.  Why let that same representative tell a physician what OBGYN procedures are allowed for women? If all science was dictated by politicians, the world would still be flat and the sun would revolve around the earth...

EN wrote on February 22, 2012 at 9:02 am

Agreed. It is really frightening to lose control of issues concerning your body to the government. This seems like a step backwards causing more harm than good.

Himiko wrote on February 22, 2012 at 9:02 am

Why the Agriculture committee? Because to anti-abortion activists, women and broodmares are functionally interchangeable: their bodies and their reproductive systems are there to be managed by men, since men make up the majority of both veterinarians and politicians...

cbrads334 wrote on February 22, 2012 at 9:02 am
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Thank you to Rep. Naomi Jakobsson, Rep. Debra Mell, and Dr. Allison Cowett for standing up to the Republican patriarchs on their war on women's health.  Women's health issues ARE NOT up for legislation by a group of repressed male conservatives.

freechampaign wrote on February 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm

Guess you skipped over the name and party of the bill's sponsor, Rep. Joseph Lyons, D-Chicago.

asparagus wrote on February 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm

@EN: Well, that is exactly how I feel when the government wants to tell me what to feed my child or what kind of bag I can use for groceries.  It amazes me how liberals turn into libertarians for their pet causes.

I believe that this bill is an underhanded attempt to make abortion more difficult to accomplish in the state.  While I sympathize with the goal I really don't care for the means proposed.


EN wrote on February 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Are you saying you think it should be more difficult? It should be a personal choice. If you don't feel that an abortion is a choice for yourself then don't get one but don't take away that right from someone else. Making abortion harder to get only makes women suffer more. There are too many dangers created if women have a hard time getting an abortion.

sahuoy wrote on February 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I am for the bill as it provides an opportunity to foster insight to life. Nothing is made mandatory. Females are and should be held accountable at the point of origin of this new life over simply providing a means of escaping responsibility so one can play or encourage males who want more girls to play. Not including obviously matters of the mothers health, incest and rape. A mother should embrace life and not treat that life like a used prophylactic.

sahuoy wrote on February 22, 2012 at 12:02 pm

I am for the bill as it provides an opportunity to foster insight to life. Nothing is made mandatory. Females are and should be held accountable at the point of origin of this new life over simply providing a means of escaping responsibility so one can play or encourage males who want more girls to play. Not including obviously matters of the mothers health, incest and rape. A mother should embrace life and not treat that life like a used prophylactic.

thelowedown wrote on February 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm

So you think women just wake up and say, "I want an abortion" like they're ordering a #4 at McDonald's? Step out of your delusional world for a second and realize that having an abortion is a traumatic experience for women and their families. Women don't take this lightly and don't need to be demonized at every point of painful experiences in their lives. Maybe if you loons like you would be more willingly to support reasonable social services at all levels of life, more women would opt to have adoptions, or better yet, there wouldn't be such high rates of pregnancy among women least equipped to be able to raise a child who will have success live.

bluegrass wrote on February 24, 2012 at 11:02 am

I don't really have an opinion on abortion that would change anyone's mind, so I'll keep it to myself. 

I do take exception to your comment that perhaps more women would choose to put their child up for adoption, but for loony people who don't want to pay for more social services.  What social services are lacking that would enable a woman to allow her unborn child to be adopted?  There are ads in almost every newspaper in the country, including our own News Gazette, wishing for a child they could adopt, and offering to pay the medical costs and legal fees associated with the adoption. 



Mark Taylor wrote on February 24, 2012 at 4:02 pm

That's right. As birthing agents, women have the responsibility to carry their pregnancy to term. Simply put, and this is GOD'S ORDINATION, they don't have a right to artificially end their pregnancy any more than they have the right to artificially and immorally prevent conception. If they behave irresponsibly by getting pregnant when they weren't trying to do so, then we have to step in as the responsible agents and insure that they finish what they started. If only women would keep that aspirin between their knees then we wouldn't have to make sure they do the right thing. 

Love until it Hurts then Lo... wrote on February 22, 2012 at 1:02 pm

When evaluating whether abortion is right or wrong morally, you have to have an objective mindset.  You have to be subjective in your viewpoint, and focus only on the act of the abortion itself.  Every woman that comes through the doors that is thinking about an abortion has a different story to tell.  Those creating laws and passing legislation should not concern themselves on the backstory, but rather only focus on the abortion itself.  Is aborting a baby morally correct?  Is killing life okay?  That is the way abortion should be studied and scrutinized.  Everyone wants to make excuses and throw out everything that led up to the moment of walking into a doctor’s office to abort life.  People that commit crimes everyday probably have had many bad things happen to them leading up the moment where they committed the crime.  In the court of law, what is used to pass down punishment to the individual committing the crime?  Can the lawyer say, "Well he was brought up and did not have a good childhood" and then the judge presiding over the case should say it is okay because that individual had a rough upbringing?  False, that individual who committed the crime is judge by the crime they committed.  Nothing from the past or leading up to that point.  Judges don't study criminals past and lessen the punishment due to the fact that something happened 15 years prior to their conviction.

Why isn't abortion viewed from this standpoint.  Evaluate the abortion, and that is all.  It is sad for some women who choose to get an abortion due to a criminal act by someone else, but it should not be included in the study of abortion. 

These are my thoughts, and curious on what others might think about it.

Remember, this isn’t about woman’s rights, it is about whether Abortion is wrong and what separates an abortion from murder?


God Bless, and lets protect life. 

Mark Taylor wrote on February 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm

I'm so glad the local Republicans have endorsed Santorum. We need men like him as president to END ALL ABORTIONS NATIONWIDE. Once we get enough Republicans in office statewide, we can finally ban contraceptives. In our permissive feel good society this may seem extreme, but not to long ago, all major religions opposed contraceptives. It's only the indulgent insidious leftward tilt of our mainline protestant churches that have allowed contraception to be seen as "ok". Once people know that nature will be allowed to take its course, they'll be a lot more likely to act responsibly and "just say no".

EN wrote on February 22, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Wow, in order to sleep tonight I'm going to assume that your whole post was sarcasm.

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 22, 2012 at 4:02 pm

He is being sarcastic.  He is "playing Steven Colbert".  He had some of us confused on previous comments on other articles.  He does create controversy thru his humor.  Scares the devil out of you thinking that someone really believes such things.  Although, we know that there are really right-wing people out there who do believe such things.  He does a good job. 

Mark Taylor wrote on February 23, 2012 at 2:02 pm

There are people right on this message board that believe such things - starting with me. I'm not being sarcastic; nor am I "playing Steven Colbert". But if it makes you feel better about your lib delusions, the so be it. And as I said on another comment thread, I've read in MULTIPLE credible places online that Colbert is really conservative and is just playing a joke - sarcastic joke - on the libs and the government run media elites who think he's laughing with them when it's clear too anyone with alf a brain that he's laughing at them. 

And the joke will be on you even more when we get enough Republicans in office to finally clean up this dirt bowl state. Making immoral and unnatural artificial contraception unavailable will be a good start, but only a start. I hope we as a country are worthy enough to deserve Santorum as president, but even if rhino Romney is the nominee, we're still sure to beat your communist in chief Maobama. And even Romney will enact most of Santorum's agenda because he'll need we conservatives to get his re-election.





Sid Saltfork wrote on February 23, 2012 at 3:02 pm

I loved the "Maobama", and "unnatural artificial contraception" lines.  The "worthy enough to deserve Santorum as president" is great also.  Who ever you are; please keep the lines coming.   Man, you should write for Letterman.  

Keith Hays wrote on February 22, 2012 at 11:02 pm

"Women are and should be accountable... 


The last time I studied biology sexual reproduction required the contribution of both a female and male parent.  Of course there may have been new discoveries in the half century since I took a biology class at the U of I, but if that basic rule has changed I haven't heard about it.  

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 23, 2012 at 12:02 pm

Men don't get pregnant.  This is nothing more than trying to impose a politically driven, ideology on others.  It gets votes in an election year.  It is a woman's decision; not a politician's.  Denying services to low income women results in unwanted births.  Contraception is preferrable to abortions; but it is a woman's decision.  How many more children would be born to irresponsible parents for the public to support?  Medicaid needs to be cut.  Cuts need to be made in serivices to non-citizens, and irresponsible parents.  If a family has three, or four kids when they apply for Medicaid, and a Link Card; that is fine.  However, if they have more kids while on Medicaid; they should only be provided with Medicaid, and a Link Card for the number of kids they had at the time of their original application for assistance.  There should be a photo I.D. on the cards following proof of U.S. citizenship; not just proof of a mailing address.  The state, and federal governments do not have the money to support everyone.  Both men, and women need to take responsibility for their lives; and the lives of their children.  Only have the number of children that you can support financially without state, or federal assistance.

christines wrote on February 23, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Isn't it obvious that those against these bills (such as Jakobsson) are only "pro-choice" when the "choice" is abortion. God forbid that a woman might change her mind and choose LIFE.  Oh no, that's not acceptable.

If you are truly "pro-choice" then you should have no problem with a woman getting the full information before making such a huge decision. You should have no problem with women choosing not to abort.  Many times these scared and pressured women are lied to and told their child is just a "product of conception" or a "bunch of cells."  Lied to by people who stand to make a profit in the abortion industry.

We saw our daughter at 6 weeks gestation (4 weeks after conception) - she was absolutely beautiful - heart beating 157 beats a minute - her two brain globes forming.  Saw our son at 10 weeks - he seemed to be waving at us.  Sonos show that the "product of conception" is a human being.  That's why they are so effective in changing a woman's mind towards life. The horror!!

And who in the heck truly for women's HEALTH would be against making abortion mills safer by  meeting more rigorous health standards.  Late term abortions involve anesthesia etc.  I'm all for stricter standards.  Do you want another Kermitt Gosnell scandal like in PA??  Shame on anyone who is against making abortion SAFER for women.

mmemartinez wrote on February 24, 2012 at 9:02 am

I think the point is that even asking a woman who has been raped or who is a victim of incest if they would like to see the result of that rape/incest is traumatic. The woman has already been through a great deal, has already anguished over what to do about the unborn child that is the result of her attack and now has to be asked if she wants more proof of what happened to her. At least they aren't REQUIRING the sonogram as part of the abortion as they do/have pushed for in other states.

I am a woman and I can't say I know what I would do if I was that kind of victim. I don't yet have a daughter but if one day I do, I DO know that I would want to do everything in my power to prevent her from further trauma. If she already made a choice I wouldn't want her to be made to feel worse about it because someone somewhere thinks it's a good idea.

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 24, 2012 at 12:02 pm

A legislator (R) in the State of Virginia withdrew "his" bill for required transvaginal sonograms to be performed on women requesting an abortion.  SNL spoofed his bill, and others did also.  It created a fury against "him".  Some groups demanded rectal prostate exams for men wanting Viagra if the bill passed.  The politicians seeking election are trying to make a big issue regarding contraception, and abortions for votes.  It has backfired against them mostly across the nation.  I expect they will start "hunting communists" next to get attention.  The country has changed; but some politicians have not caught on yet.

christines wrote on February 24, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I am very pro-life but I also wonder how I would handle things if raped.  I think the pro-life support of my husband and family would be there for me and support me through the pregnancy.  It is a traumatic and horrible thing all around.  Sadly I have a two close friends who have gone through rape and incest.  There are no words for how evil and horrible it is.  No words.

But listen to your argument - why would it put an abortion-minded woman through further trauma to see the sono of her child?  Because we are talking about killing a human being, not a few "product of conception" cells.  And everyone who has seen a sono of their child knows this.

Yes, short-term it might be less traumatic for a victim or any pregnant woman not to see the sono and to not think of their child as a human.  But long term?  Somewhere they are going to be in a check out line and see a Time Magazine cover of a child in the womb or watch a PBS special on life in the womb.  Or maybe they will see a sono of a planned child in a prenatal visit.  The truth of prenatal development will be there for them to see eventually.  Why are we so afraid of giving women the real picture, all the information? 

Finally, I am tired of people thinking the rape / incest thing is "the point."  There are 1.2 - 1.5 million abortions in this country a year - how many are due to rape / incest?  In fact the abortion industry encourages rapes and incest by allowing these creeps to cover up their crimes by getting rid of the pregnancy - so they can continue their abuse.  In IL your 13 year old daughter could get knocked up by her middle aged teacher/coach and get a late-term abortion (anesthesia and all) and you would not even have to be notified let alone give your consent. How scary is that??

No one is forcing a woman to see a sono - just offering it to her so she can make an informed decision.  Why are they afraid of informed decisions?

serf wrote on February 24, 2012 at 6:02 pm

It's not a matter of 'giving' them the information.  It's simply another attempt to put one more roadblock in the way for a woman to have a legal abortion.

I suppose in your world, the crazies who stand outside of clinics videotaping women who enter and holding up posters of aborted fetuses are simply trying to make sure that women are informed.  

Sid Saltfork wrote on February 24, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Gotta agree with you, serf.  Seems like one group wanting to impose their view on others thru legislation.  Always happens in an election year when one party is trying to demonize the other party.  My wife, and I disagree on the subject of abortion.  We agree on the subject of contraception.  We both agree that legislated social beliefs are wrong.  It is each individual's choice; not the group with the most votes.  The sudden increase of bills by legislators across the country regarding required information to women is one party pandering for votes.