Illinois Republican State Rep. Avery Bourne delivered an impassioned plea for unborn children just before the state house passed one of the most expansive pro-choice bills in U.S. history.
The “Reproductive Health Act” would repeal the state’s partial-birth abortion ban and effectively legalize abortion up until birth, among other legal changes. The bill states that “a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights,” according to the Chicago Tribune. (RELATED: More Women Are Traveling To Illinois To Have Abortions As States Turn Pro-Life)
The bill passed the state house 65-40, but not before Bourne – who is pregnant herself – delivered a fervent speech opposing the legislation.
“This bill will mean that if a baby requires extraordinary medical measures after they’re born, doctors could determine up to the 40th week of pregnancy that that baby was never viable,” an emotional Bourne said. “This bill means that if the baby is viable, a doctor can determine that the post-viable abortion can still take place based on a number of factors that include familial health and the age of the women.”
Bourne then broke into tears when discussing her own pregnancy and what she perceives as the bill’s disregard for human life. (RELATED: Meet Saybie, The World’s Smallest Known Surviving Infant)
“This bill will mean that, for a woman at my stage in pregnancy, where the baby responds to his dad’s voice as he reads him books at night, the woman could go to the facility – the baby is perfectly healthy – but if that woman says based on my familial health, this is medically necessary, that is allowed,” Bourne said.
Illinois is already considered one of the most pro-choice states in the country, with 20 abortion clinics in the state, 17 of which are Planned Parenthood clinics.