(The Center Square) – After the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision that placed abortion regulations in the hands of states, Illinois has seen a rise in those coming from out of state for the procedure.
In June 2022, after the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision essentially overturning Roe vs. Wade, multiple states, including several neighboring Illinois, restricted the procedure. Since then, Illinois has seen an increase in out-of-state patients coming to the Land of Lincoln for abortions.
According to numbers from the Illinois Department of Public Health, nearly 17,000 people came from other states to Illinois to terminate a pregnancy in 2022. That’s over 5,000 more than the year before. In 2020, most abortions performed on those from out of state came from Missouri and Indiana.
The Democratic majority in Illinois has made abortion more accessible. In October, Gov. J.B. Pritzker pushed his Think Big America plan, which advocates for abortion rights nationwide.
“This is a pivotal moment for our republic, that’s why I am proud to announce the launch of Think Big America, an organization dedicated to safeguarding reproductive rights,” Pritzker said.
Last summer, Pritzker’s office announced a cross-agency reproductive health care initiative that included $10 million for a public hotline for abortion service navigation and $5 million in capital funding for reproductive health facilities.
State Rep. Brad Halbrook, R-Shelbyville, said this is more money that the state is spending on people who do not live here.
“These numbers are alarming and I wish the state would do something about this, but however they continue to incentivize this,” Halbrook said, “it is unfair to the taxpayers of Illinois to first of all pay for abortions and secondly pay for folks’ abortions from out of state.”
Halbrook said the state is once again using its taxpayer funds to help people who are not taxpayers of Illinois.
“The biggest issue is the amount of pressure it puts on the budget, the budget is under a lot of strain for health care for the people who are not here legally,” Halbrook said. “I think the budget pressure alone should give people pause to think about this further.”
Illinois has some of the least restrictions on abortion in the nation, as the state no longer requires parental notification for minors to terminate a pregnancy.