December 23, 2022

Illinois House Speaker Says Lawmakers will Likely Consider Abortion Rights Constitutional Amendment

Rep. Emanuel "Chris" Welch (D-7)
Illinois House Speaker Emanuel "Chris" Welch (D-7) indicated to several news outlets that his party is likely to consider a constitutional amendment creating a right to abortion in Illinois.

When asked by the State Journal-Register about the possibility of a constitutional amendment, Welch responded, “That's certainly one of the questions that's out there, and it’s a strong possibility. But again, I don't want to get ahead of the working group or the recommendations they formally present. I'm certain that's one of the things that's on the table.”

Even though Illinois has maintained a staunchly pro-abortion supermajority for many election cycles, Welch told KSDK TV "Right now, we're a single Legislature or a single Supreme Court away from losing [abortion] rights."

Illinois is already one of the most pro-abortion states in the country, but a constitutional amendment could prevent future pro-life advocates from protecting the rights of the unborn. To protect the unborn, Illinoisans would need to amend the constitution again to remove the pro-abortion language. This is more difficult than simply passing a law.

A constitutional amendment would require a 3/5 vote from lawmakers in the Illinois General Assembly before going to the ballot for the general election. The amendment is considered adopted if it is approved by 3/5 of those voting on the amendment or a simple majority of all ballots cast.