CHICAGO – As funding for women’s health care comes under siege in Washington, State Rep. John D’Amico, D-Chicago, is calling for additional penalties on individuals who damage women’s health clinics or intimidate the patients who seek care from them.
“People should not have to fear receiving healthcare,” D’Amico said. “This legislation is going to send a message that in Illinois we are not going to tolerate people trying to force their personal beliefs onto someone else’s health care.”
D’Amico is sponsoring House Bill 3735, which would increase the penalties for anyone who damages property in a woman’s health clinic, intimidates the patients attending the clinic, or intimidates the staff who perform the services at the clinic. House Bill 3735 would go against a recent trend of legislation implemented in other states, and at the federal level, that have weakened women’s health clinic protections for patients and medical professionals. Most notably, the Supreme Court in 2014 struck down a Massachusetts law allowing a 35-foot buffer between protestors and a women’s health clinic, allowing patient’s safe passage.
“Washington may continue to pass laws that will make it more difficult for women’s health clinics to operate,” D’Amico continued. “That is why we need to do everything we can at the state level to protect these health centers, fund them, and give patients and staff the peace of mind that they can operate safely.”
House Bill 3735 recently passed out of the Judiciary Criminal Committee and now goes to the full House for approval.