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Illinois Abortion Laws

Abortion is legal in Illinois through fetal viability. Thereafter, abortion is legal only if the health care professional finds that the abortion is necessary to protect the life or health of the patient.

Illinois Abortion Law After Dobbs

The landmark 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade legalized abortion at the federal level, finding that the individual right to privacy encompassed the decision to end a pregnancy.

In 2022, despite decades of case precedent, the current Supreme Court overruled Roe in Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Organization. In Dobbs, the Court rejected any constitutional protection for abortion. It returned to the states the authority to regulate and even prohibit abortion.

After Dobbs, several states have made it virtually impossible to access abortion services. Others have enacted restrictions and set bans on abortion at a certain point of a pregnancy.

In contrast, many states, including Illinois, passed legislation protecting abortion care, anticipating the Court's reversal of Roe.

The Reproductive Health Act

In 2019, Illinois state lawmakers passed the Illinois Reproductive Health Act which states that "every individual has a fundamental right to make autonomous decisions about one's own reproductive health." Illinois Governor JB Pritzker signed the law and it took effect on June 12, 2019.

Under the law, reproductive health care includes abortion services. It also includes contraception, sterilization, assisted reproduction, and maternity care.

Illinois law specifically states that a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights, contrasting with some states' efforts in recent years to pass "personhood" bills on behalf of unborn fetuses.

The 2019 law repealed prior criminal penalties associated with certain late-term abortions and several other regulations seen as hindering abortion access. It also allows individuals aggrieved by government conduct or regulation related to reproductive health rights to bring legal action against the government.

The Reproductive Health Act requires state-regulated private health insurance plans that offer pregnancy-related benefits to also cover abortion, including abortion pills. Insurance plans must also cover birth control and family planning services.

In addition, state public aid programs such as Medicaid must cover any reproductive health care that is legal in Illinois, including contraception and abortion services.

In 2019 and 2023, the state enacted laws to shield Illinois healthcare providers who provide reproductive care to patients from states that have abortion bans in place. These laws provide legal protections for healthcare professionals who engage in services that are legal in Illinois.

Repeal of Parental Notification Law

In 2022, shortly before the Supreme Court issued the Dobbs decision, Illinois repealed its parental notification statute. As a result, a minor seeking an abortion in Illinois may choose whether to notify or otherwise involve their parent or guardian in the process.

Expanded Access to Funding

The State of Illinois has also provided additional funding to help the state meet the needs of health centers responding to increased service demands from out-of-state residents.

For example, the State Department of Health received $10 million to establish a hotline to aid those seeking medical providers. The state is also spending another $8 million to train reproductive healthcare workers and set up a consultation program for those at high risk.

In a separate initiative, the state is working with the Chicago Abortion Fund and other medical partners to create a hotline for at-risk patients and to provide alternate funding sources for patients. This includes funds for transportation, specific health care services, and childcare.

Illinois Abortion Laws at a Glance

After the Supreme Court's decision in Dobbs, state abortion laws vary from state to state. This area of the law has become unsettled in several states. Below is a summary of Illinois abortion laws, including links to relevant Illinois code sections.

Relevant Illinois Abortion Laws

Illinois Compiled Statutes (ILCS)

Chapter 755, Human Rights, Act 55, Reproductive Health Act

When Is Abortion Legal?

Abortion is legal until fetal viability. After that time, abortion is legal if the healthcare professional finds it necessary to protect the life or health of the pregnant person.

Consent Requirements

Standard patient health care consent provisions apply.

There are no abortion-specific parental consent or notification provisions for minors.

Penalty for Unlawful Abortion

There are no criminal penalties for abortion services in Illinois.

Availability of Medication Abortion

Yes. Medication abortion services are available in Illinois.

Residency Requirements for Patients


Physician Licensing Requirements

Licensed physicians, physician assistants, and advanced practice registered nurses may provide abortion services consistent with their scope of practice. (See Section 55/1-25 above.)

Note: State laws are subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts that include federal decisions, ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the status of any state law(s) you are reviewing.

How Illinois Compares to Other States

Illinois abortion laws are less restrictive than those of many other states. Illinois has taken steps to protect the right to abortion in state law, leaving decisions about the termination of a pregnancy between patient and physician.

Illinois state government includes strong support for abortion rights. A Democratic super-majority presides in the State House and State Senate. Governor Pritzker and State Attorney General Kwame Raoul are members of the Democratic party.

Some 30 states and the District of Columbia (DC) permit abortion at least to the point of fetal viability. In contrast, about 17 states currently prohibit most abortions. This includes Indiana, Kentucky, and Missouri, all states that border Illinois.

In a handful of states, including Wisconsin and Iowa, abortion remains legal only because of court intervention blocking state law bans.

In 2024, several states will see ballot initiatives that will allow voters to determine abortion access in their state in the future.

A Note About Medication Abortion

In 2022, abortion opponents filed a federal lawsuit in Texas seeking to block access to the drug mifepristone, one of two medications commonly found in abortion pills.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the use of mifepristone in 2000. Since that time, based on its assessment of the safety of medication abortion, the FDA has expanded access to the drug, permitting telehealth services and delivery through the mail.

Several states where abortion remains legal also filed a federal lawsuit to maintain access to the drugs used in medication abortion. A recent study demonstrates that about 63% of abortions in the U.S. today involve medication abortion.

The U.S. Supreme Court has stayed all lower court rulings and permitted access to mifepristone as it decides the case. A final decision is expected in 2024.

Research the Law

Illinois Abortion Laws: Related Resources

Questions About Your Abortion Rights? Talk to an Illinois Family Law Attorney

Navigating abortion laws after the reversal of Roe v Wade can be challenging. Depending on the state, abortion providers have to comply with sometimes restrictive licensing requirements, regulations, and outright bans. Since 2019, Illinois has repealed many of those laws.

If you need additional information on your reproductive healthcare rights in Illinois, consider seeking legal advice. You can contact an experienced Illinois attorney to discuss your specific situation.

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