(The Center Square) – Some Illinois elected officials want to make it easier for out-of-state residents to get an abortion in the Land of Lincoln. Advocates for more abortion restrictions say it’s disgraceful to use taxpayer funds for the procedure.

In the wake of the leaked draft majority opinion from the U.S. Supreme Court that signals abortion regulations would be up to individual states, state Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, said Illinois has already made abortion more accessible with things like ending a parental notification requirement. She said more can be done.

“We can ensure that there are resources available for patients who maybe used their last penny to get here from Texas,” Cassidy said during a news conference. “Can we make coverage available?”

She also said the Illinois Senate needs to take up a House bill to protect in-state doctors performing the procedure from out-of-state prosecution, and “get creative” with other measures.

“We have to think about what these patients and families are coming here in need of and ensure that as a state we are setting the table,” Cassidy said.

The Illinois Department of Public Health reports that in 2020, more than 46,000 abortions were performed in Illinois, of which more than 9,600 were out-of-state pregnancies terminated in Illinois. More than 6,500 came from Missouri.

Mary Fioroto, a fellow at The Ethics & Public Policy Center, said while Illinois increased taxpayer funding for abortion in recent years, the state is not doing enough for people with developmental disabilities.

“That’s disgraceful,” Fioroto said during a separate news conference. “This is the message we’re sending to people with disabilities, to people who are poor, let’s pay for your abortion because we’re sure not going to pay for you to take care of yourself or your family.”

Illinois Right to Life Executive Director Amy Gehrke said they’re launching a campaign to reveal the state’s abortion policies, including allowing taxpayer funds for the procedure, to the public.

“A lot of them have never even heard of the Reproductive Health Act, they have no idea that parental notification was just repealed, ” Gehrke said. “I have no doubt if people of Illinois are educated on the extremity of our abortion laws, how far out of the mainstream they are, they will be appalled and want change in our state.”

Associate Editor

Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience and hosts the WMAY Morning Newsfeed out of Springfield.