SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – State Rep. Lindsey LaPointe, D-Chicago, is bringing attention to critical legislation that would streamline women’s access to health care in Illinois as President Trump continues his assault on reproductive health care.
“It is a shame that in 2019, women still do not have total autonomy to make their own health care decisions and the processes to obtain contraception still remains burdensome for most women,” said LaPointe. “There are a variety of reasons why women may not be able to regularly visit a doctor. Allowing pharmacists to prescribe birth control expands access to vital health care, which would help reduce barriers that women currently face.”
LaPointe is backing House Bill 1442, which will allow Illinois pharmacists to prescribe and dispense 12 months’ worth of birth control to women. This bill would make it easier for women to stay on birth control without financial difficulties or scheduling a doctor’s visit. LaPointe’s legislation is similar to numerous bills passed in other states, including California, Maryland and Oregon.
Recently, President Trump issued unilateral federal changes to Title X funding, which was used to help low-income women utilize health care services offered by Planned Parenthood and other family planning entities. Trump’s rule to strip the funding, also called a “gag-rule,” is not only aimed at defunding Planned Parenthood but also denying women access to health care and abortion services. This change could potentially pave the way to redirect those critical funds to anti-abortion groups.
“The absolute necessity to pass this bill cannot be understated given the fact that President Trump and his allies are working tirelessly to criminalize women’s health care,” LaPointe said. “Illinois must reject extreme policies and be a beacon for reproductive freedoms that make women’s health care a fundamental right.”
LaPointe represents the 19th District, which covers portions of Chicago’s Big Oaks, Dunning, Gladstone Park, Jefferson Park, Portage Park, Union Ridge and West Portage Park neighborhoods, and River Grove, Elmwood Park, Norridge and Harwood Heights.