Illinois seeks to bar out-of-state police access to data of those seeking abortions in state

(The Center Square) – Illinois legislators are looking to make license plate reader camera data off limits to out-of-state law enforcement in cases of people seeking abortions in the Land of Lincoln.

With some of the most lenient abortion laws in the country, Illinois sees an influx of out-of-state residents coming to the state for the medical termination of a pregnancy. Illinois Department of Public Health data shows more than 46,000 induced pregnancy terminations performed in Illinois for 2020. Nearly 9,700 were out-of-state residents.

Missouri led other states with nearly 6,600 residents seeking abortions in Illinois. Indiana was a distant second with nearly 1,900. Wisconsin residents getting an abortion in Illinois for 2020 totaled 531. Kentucky residents in Illinois getting abortions totaled 142 and Tennessee totaled 108. Fewer than 100 residents from each of Michigan and Arkansas received abortions in Illinois.

Most all abortions performed in Illinois were fewer than eight weeks into the pregnancy. Nearly 13,000 were up to 11 weeks. Nearly 3,600 were up to 15 weeks. About 1,800 were more than 16 weeks into a pregnancy. Other IDPH data for all abortions performed in Illinois shows nearly 40,500 females getting an abortion in Illinois were unmarried.

The IDPH data dates to before the U.S. Supreme Court last year put the issue of abortion back to the states. It’s been reported since then that Illinois continues to see increased numbers of abortions performed on residents from out of state.

In the Senate Friday, state Sen. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, explained an amendment to House Bill 3326.

“This bill will prohibit out-of-state law enforcement from utilizing automatic license plate data gathered in Illinois to prosecute people seeking legal reproductive health in Illinois,” Feigenholtz said.

Automatic license plate reading technology has proliferated in Illinois in both the public and private sectors despite civil liberty concerns from the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois. The technology, depending on the vendor, allows investigators to network data across jurisdictions to find approximate locations of vehicles linked to suspected criminal or other activity.

State Sen. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, had concerns about the bill, especially after Illinois repealed the law requiring parental notification of minor girls getting abortions.

“Under this law, a minor girl from Missouri could be brought to Illinois by her abuser to undergo an abortion and that license plate data couldn’t be used to bring him to justice,” Tracy said. “We’re going to perhaps make this too broad and allow a true perpetrator and an abuser to go free and avoid prosecution.”

Feigenholtz denied that was the case.

“The prosecution for trafficking or sexual abuse is able to be accessed, but the reproductive health care data is not,” Feigenholtz said.

The measure also would prohibit the use of such camera data by out-of-state law enforcement for tracking down undocumented migrants in Illinois. It now goes back to the House for concurrence.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *