SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), who in 2019 sponsored law defining abortion as a fundamental right in Illinois, is introducing a bill dubbed the “EXpanding Abortion Services Act,” the acronym of which spells TEXAS.
The Texas law is uniquely designed, allowing private citizens the right to bring a civil lawsuit against anyone who performs an abortion, gets an abortion or aids in someone getting an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy.
Cassidy’s proposal instead would instead 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.
Under Cassidy’s bill, half of the damages awarded would go toward a new “State Abortion Freedom Access Fund,” to be managed by the state’s Department of Healthcare and Family Services. The money would also be required to be halved even if a case is settled. The fund would be used as financial aid for people from states with limited abortion access to travel to Illinois for the procedure.
While Cassidy acknowledged the bill’s name and modeling after the Texas law includes some element of trolling, she said she’s serious about getting co-sponsors and a hearing on the legislation.