villanueva 011023SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Celina Villanueva, who has diligently fought for the equality and protection of reproductive and gender rights, led a measure passed Tuesday that further explores the importance of Illinois residents having access to such rights.

“As a legislator who serves communities that face many disparities and challenges based off of their ethnicity and gender, I have seen firsthand the effects discrimination in health care play in a person’s mental, physical, social and economic status,” said Villanueva (D-Chicago). ”Today we have further enshrined people’s rights to health care and their right to determine their destinies.”

Illinois has led the nation by establishing some of the most extensive reproductive health laws protecting abortion and gender-affirming care in the country. With Roe vs. Wade being overturned by the Supreme Court, House Bill 4664 was put in place to protect health care professionals in Illinois from restrictive laws from other states and provides privacy and protections for people who seek reproductive health care or gender-affirming care in Illinois without being penalized. In 2019, Illinois enforced abortion rights legislation that the Illinois Supreme Court currently upholds. This means that regardless of Roe vs. Wade being overturned, abortion is still legal in of Illinois.

 House Bill 4664 also requires the Department of Public Health to collaborate with non-profit organizations to administer grants to provide abortion training that would allow nurses and birthing centers to provide clinical reproductive care.

“As an equal rights advocate, I believe Illinoisans deserve the right to be who they want to be and not be penalized when accessing equal health care opportunities,” said Villanueva. “We are a gender inclusive state that must continue to fight for the wellbeing and safety of all of our residents while protecting people’s rights to privacy, bodily autonomy and the liberty to form one's own family.”

House Bill 4664 passed the Senate Tuesday.