CHICAGO -- Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed an executive order on Jan. 22 ordering state departments to include abortion and other reproductive procedures in their medical benefits.
The law, Public Act 100-0538, which first mandated the change in health coverage, was signed in 2017 and into effect on Jan. 1, 2018.
The executive order is two-fold. First, state departments are directed submit an evaluation detailing how abortions are currently covered or restricted. Then, these departments will have to make sure they are following the law, which states abortions need to be covered in public health plans.
The law's 2018 change crossed out all restrictions on covering abortions for state employees and added in this sentence:
"Notwithstanding any other provision of this Code, reproductive health care that is otherwise legal in Illinois shall be covered under the medical assistance program for persons who are otherwise eligible for medical assistance under this Article."
Now, Pritzker is using this executive order to make sure state departments are complying with the law.
“On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I’m proud to declare under my administration, the State of Illinois will be the most progressive state in the nation when it comes to guaranteeing the right to choose for every single woman,” Pritzker said at the signing ceremony.
Less than a month ago, pro-life activists said the law was unconstitutional and asked Illinois lawmakers to investigate.