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SPRINGFIELD – As states across the country roll back protections on reproductive rights, member of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus continue to support investments in the health system to support family planning resources.

Gov. JB Pritzker recently announced an increase in Medicaid rates for abortion and abortion-related services as well as a new competitive grant program to expand Title X resources to health care providers.

"Expanding access to reproductive care in our state is more essential now than ever," said State Senator Celina Villanueva (D-Chicago). "At a time when women's rights are under attack at the national level, I am proud that Illinois is taking the lead in expanding rights and access to care here."

To ensure Illinoisans continue to receive quality care, Increasing Medicaid rates for abortion-related services will assist in offsetting some of the costs providers will face as states react to the overturning of Roe v. Wade. The last time rates were increased was in 2019, and the increase slated for Sept. 1 will increase the rate by nearly 20%.

“Once again, Illinois is proving itself a standout state in the nation for supporting reproductive health,” said State Senator Cristina Castro (D-Elgin). “Not only that, we are making sure equity is at the forefront of our policies—increasing Medicaid rates for services will ensure that people can access abortions and make the best decisions for their own bodies.”

To further increase accessibility, the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services is eliminating a requirement for providers to receive a denial from Medicare for abortion services if a patient is enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. This requirement was a barrier for certain Medicaid patients visiting providers for some reproductive health services, particularly individuals with disabilities.

"Making reproductive health care accessible and affordable, particularly to women in vulnerable communities, is of the utmost importance as these rights are being stripped away at the federal level," said State Senator Ann Gillespie (D-Arlington Heights). "Today's investment upholds Illinois' position as a leader on preserving women's rights and will expand services to underserved communities throughout the state."

Additionally, the Illinois Department of Public Health will be providing an additional $2 million to expand the number of providers in Illinois offering family planning services. On top of that, a new grant program through the Title X Family Planning Program will allow providers to apply for additional funding to support quality, accessible services like pregnancy and STD testing, cancer screenings, basic infertility services and more.

“As women’s reproductive rights are being decimated across this nation, this additional Title X Family Planning Program funding is critical in providing voluntary comprehensive family planning services to low-income individuals of reproductive age,” said State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake). “While we are devastated each time we turn on the news and see yet another state taking away the reproductive rights of women, Illinois continues to be clear that we uphold choice and access to reproductive health care.”

Members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus look forward to continuing work with the governor’s office, state agencies, providers, federal stakeholders and more to continue to find ways to build Illinois up as a state that equitably protects reproductive rights.