Laws Shaping Abortion Access in Illinois

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the right to an abortion is fundamental, but not absolute. States may restrict or ban abortion access after the point in a pregnancy when the fetus is "viable", or could survive outside the womb, provided that their policies allow for some exceptions. Even after fetal viability, states may not prohibit abortions “necessary to preserve the life or health” of the pregnant woman. A physician, in the course of evaluating the specific circumstances of an individual case, determines when abortion is necessary to preserve health and when a fetus is considered viable.

Laws, policies, and court decisions at the federal, state, and local level affect individuals seeking access to abortion in Illinois. Included in this section are some frequently asked legal questions about abortion access in Illinois. Policy regarding insurance and financial assistance are included in a separate section.

SPECIAL NOTE: Illinois does require notification of an adult family member for young people under age 18 seeking abortion -- learn more in the section on Legal Consideration for Minors or find assistance for a young person here.