Illinois State Representative Kelly Cassidy, a Democrat from Chicago, introduced a bill on Tuesday that would “give Illinoisans the right to seek at least $10,000 in damages against anyone who causes an unwanted pregnancy — even if it resulted from consensual sex — or anyone who commits sexual assault or abuse, including domestic violence,” National Public Radio Chicago reported.
The EXpanding Abortion Services Act – which has been shortened to the TEXAS Act – is a legislative counterstrike against a Texas law that the United States Supreme Court allowed to take effect earlier this month. The Texas Heartbeat Act – or Senate Bill 8 – bans abortions past six weeks and offers $10,000 bounties to vigilantes who successfully sue anyone who “aids and abets” a patient seeking to terminate a pregnancy. Abortion rights activists say that SB8 is unconstitutional, however, its proponents argue that they are merely protecting the life of the unborn.
“If folks are policing the bodies of people who are seeking reproductive healthcare in Texas, well, then maybe we should be policing the bodies of the people who are causing those problems here in Illinois,” Cassidy told NPR Illinois.
“There’s certainly an element of ‘hold my beer’ to this, obviously,” Cassidy said. “But the truth here is if this is our new normal, if this is the way that conservatives are going to police women’s bodies, and we as a state have — with a great deal of intentionality — have established ourselves as a safe haven, we also…have to figure out a way to manage that.”
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Brandon is a political writer for the Hill Reporter specializing in current events, breaking news, and scientific discovery. Brandon holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Indiana University. He lives in New York City.