Illinois billboard touts 'safe, legal abortion' in hit against Missouri's pro-life laws
An Illinois abortion clinic is using a billboard to tout the state as an abortion-friendly alternative to others like Missouri, which has stringent laws on abortion.
"Welcome to Illinois, where you can get a safe, legal abortion," the Hope Clinic for Women billboard reads near the Missouri-Illinois border.
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“The goal of this billboard is to remind people coming in from Missouri that they are now in a state that trusts and allows pregnant people to make their own healthcare and family planning decisions,” Erin King, Hope Clinic executive director, said in a statement.
The Granite City, Ill., abortion clinic, located just 10 minutes outside of downtown St. Louis, got the idea from a liberal group that put up a similar billboard in Colorado near the Utah border.
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“It was just a no-brainer for us,” Alison Dreith, a Hope Clinic spokeswoman, told the Riverfront Times. Half of Hope Clinic's patients come from Missouri to get an abortion.
As Missouri state legislators consider the "heartbeat bill," making it illegal to get an abortion after a fetal heartbeat is detected, the state only has one abortion clinic and has a 72-hour waiting period to get an abortion. That's in stark contrast to Illinois, which is working to make abortion more and more accessible, including a bill that could repeal parental notification in the case of minors.
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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, pledged at the beginning of the year to make Illinois “the most progressive state in the nation when it comes to standing up for women’s reproductive rights.”