SPRINGFIELD – After months of negotiations and hours of conversations in working groups, State Senator Christopher Belt supported two measures that would protect Illinois communities and ensure everyone has access to reproductive health care.
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Belt favored House Bill 5471, which would ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and rapid-fire devices.
“We can’t sit back and hope mass shootings will stop,” said Belt (D-Swansea). “I would not have supported other proposals that take away rights from law abiding gun owners. We have worked for months to find the best solution and that’s why I supported this measure. This legislation is a middle ground that retains access for law enforcement to continue protecting our neighborhoods and gets weapons of war off our streets and out of the hands of bad actors.”
The measure accelerates implementation of background checks for person-to-person sales and extends the duration of the Firearm Restraining Order to up to one year.
Belt also supported House Bill 4664, which would protect health care professionals in Illinois from restrictive laws from other states and for people who seek reproductive health care in Illinois.
“Providing access to health care, especially in underserved communities, is essential for the people of Illinois,” Belt said. “Health care is a fundamental right. Illinois has some of the most extensive reproductive health laws, but we can also be a safe haven for other states, like Missouri, to access this basic human right.”
In addition, the measure would allow birthing centers to provide clinical reproductive care and protect access to assisted reproductive technology, such as in vitro fertilization.
The Belt-supported measure prevents insurers from charging higher out-of-pocket costs when patients are forced to seek out-of-network provider care. The legislation also clarifies that abortion care coverage would include medication abortion with or without proof of pregnancy.
House Bill 5471 and House Bill 4664 passed the Senate and now head to the House for further consideration.