A recent letter reminded us that there is so much to love about Illinois – beautiful farms, busy factories, dynamic small towns, eye-popping Chicago, the lakefront, museums and boat harbors.

But things are even better now!

Our state government is now dominated by people who recognize that our laws must never be used to force the beliefs of a small but vocal minority on the entire population. Consequently, Illinoisans can now enjoy more of the greatest benefits of our secular government.

Signed into law in 2017, HB40 removed unconstitutional barriers which restricted poor women’s and state employees right to make their own reproductive health decisions. Signed in June, the Illinois Reproductive Health Act (IRHA) (SB25) restores these rights for all women through nine months of pregnancy. The IRHA repealed the ridiculous and unconstitutional encumbrances on basic reproductive health procedures that permitted the state to interfere in women’s personal health care decisions. Now all Illinois women can be proud to live in a state that treats them with respect. Medical personnel in Illinois are no longer permitted to inflict their personal religious beliefs on women seeking medical care (effective 01/2020). This surely is a cup of kindness that Illinois has raised for women's rights.

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But make no mistake. Conservative authoritarians are now stewing in their own juices, scheming to devise new ways to use the machinery of government to force women to bear children - with little or no regard for privacy or bodily autonomy.

If you’re tired of being coerced by sanctimonious authoritarians who use the machinery of government to corrupt medical science with superstition and pseudo-scientific values, please continue to support organizations like Planned Parenthood and the American Civil Liberties Union. Please continue to vote for politicians who respect every woman’s right to make her own private healthcare decisions without government interference. 

Hector Mandel, Philo

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