The US state of Illinois has signed into law a Bill classifying abortion as a woman’s “fundamental right”.
The Reproductive Health Act repeals the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 and the state’s Partial-birth Abortion Ban Act.
The move is in contrast to many other states that have recently increased protections for women and unborn children.
Abortion to birth
Under Illinois’s new law, abortion is legalised up to birth if the pregnancy affects the mother’s “health”. The baby has no “independent rights”.
Abortion will be available to Illinois residents as well as women from other states.
Former state politician Peter Breen warned that Illinois will become “an abortion destination for the country”.
Last month, the state of Louisiana joined Ohio, Mississippi, Kentucky, and Georgia in passing ‘heartbeat bills’.
The law protects babies once a heartbeat is detected, usually at around six weeks.
Abortion is permitted only if the mother’s health is believed to be at serious risk or the pregnancy is deemed “medically futile”.
Also in June, the federal government announced it was ending funding for research which used tissue from aborted babies, stating “the dignity of human life” was a “top priority”.