Dear Friend:

Today the Supreme Court of the United States made the decision to strike down Texas's anti-abortion law. HB2 would have placed severe restrictions on abortion providers, threatening to close all but nine clinics in the State of Texas. This groundbreaking decision is a major victory for women everywhere, as the Court ruled against restrictions designed to restrict access to safe and legal abortion.  

Today's decision will impact access to abortion services throughout the country, and its significance cannot be overstated.  Any anti-choice bill in any state which restricts access to the full array of healthcare options puts at risk reproductive rights nationwide. As always, I continue to fight against any and all attempts to restrict access to reproductive health services.

States across the country have passed legislative limits on women's healthcare decisions, unjustly restricting access to safe and legal medical procedure. In Illinois, I am proud that we have expanded, not restricted, women's rights. 
   
I am co-sponsoring HB 4013 to ensure that women who are receive health benefits are entitled to reproductive health services regardless of their medical status. The bill would expand coverage to state employees and those depending on Medicaid. Unfortunately this bill did not pass this session, but I will continue to work on this issue.  
 
SB 1564, an initiative of Planned Parenthood, Personal PAC and the ACLU, amends the Health Care Right of Conscience Act to ensure that women seeking reproductive health services are provided all the information as to their healthcare options, even in cases where a practitioner doesn't provide certain contraceptive and abortion services. The bill has passed both Houses and has since been sent to the Governor of Illinois. Numerous states have already implemented these policies into law, and I hope Illinois will follow suit. 
 
It's truly hard to believe that in 2016 we are continuing to fighting these battles, but the reality is we must remain vigilant to ensure we don't lose any of the important gains we have made in terms of access to all reproductive health services over the past four decades. 
 
I appreciate your advocacy and commitment...please stay in touch!
Ann Williams