Springfield….State Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) expressed strong opposition to the passage of sweeping policy changes regarding abortion access following a lengthy House floor debate on Tuesday.
Windhorst and fellow Republicans blasted the process by which Amendment 1 to SB 25 was posted for public comment and legislators’ consideration.
“At 6:08 p.m. on Sunday night, with a scheduled Committee time of 7:08 p.m., House Democrats allowed just one hour for legislators to read the bill and for the public to view it and offer witness slips on the record,” Windhorst said. “My constituents live a minimum of three hours from Springfield,” Windhorst said. “To race through a bill on a Sunday night of a holiday weekend that repeals and replaces Illinois’ entire abortion law is unconscionable and does not serve the best interests of the taxpayers of Illinois. I was disturbed at the policy provisions outlined in SB 25 as I am by the process that led this sweeping overhaul and radical expansion of abortion access in just 48 short hours.”
Windhorst and fellow House Republican members yielded their 5-minute speaking time, one after the other, to 95th District State Representative Avery Bourne (R-Raymond). Rep Bourne herself is nearly 8 months pregnant, and Windhorst said her questioning of the sponsor was powerful and emotional.
“The entirety of the debate was emotional, because people on both sides of this issue have strongly-held, deeply-personal feelings on whether the State, or the government, should be in the business of regulating abortions,” Windhorst said. “As a father of two children, as a pro-life legislator, and as a member of the House of Representatives sworn to uphold the inalienable rights guaranteed to all people under Constitution of the United States, I was touched by Representative Bourne’s questions and her overall presentation.”
“SB25 would eliminate reasonable regulations on abortions throughout the entirety of pregnancy,” Windhorst said. “The bill makes abortion a fundamental right and removes state statutes that recognize the individual rights of the unborn, even if those children could survive outside the womb.”
The legislation eventually cleared the House with all Democrats voting yes and all Republicans voting no on the so-called Reproductive Health Act. The bill now moves to the Senate for a concurrence motion before it heading to Governor Pritzker who has indicated that he plans to sign the bill.