Legislative Agenda 2010
The Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health will monitor the following state and federal bills during the 2010 legislative sessions.
BPA-Free Kids Act (S.B. 3750)
A bill to protect children’s health by eliminating Bisphenol-A (BPA) from children’s food packaging. BPA is a common toxic chemical used in plastic food containers and cans of food that is linked to reproductive problems, learning disabilities, hormone disruption, and cancer. The bill eliminates BPA from infant formula and baby food containers by 2015 and baby bottles and sipppy cups by 2011. ICAH supports.
Home Birth Safety Act (H.B. 226)
A bill to license certified professional midwives for home births. The bill creates high standards for home birth midwifery, including strong educational requirements, extensive informed consent clause, detailed scope of practice and rules, strictly limited medications, and formalized collaboration and referral. ICAH supports.
Prevent School Violence Act (S.B. 3266)
A bill modifying current law to protect Illinois students from bullying and harassment. The bill comprehensively defines bullying—including cyberbullying—for the first time in state law, provides details on the creation and communication of local school district anti-bullying policies, and creates a state task force to analyze the problem of school bullying. ICAH supports.
Reproductive Health and Access Act (H.B. 6205)
A bill to bar the government from interfering with anyone’s ability to use birth control, carry a pregnancy to term, or terminate a pregnancy. The bill requires all Illinois public schools to teach medically-accurate, age-appropriate, comprehensive sexual health education, but parents would be allowed to remove their child if they do not want them to participate. The bill also ensures that government-funded health care programs, such as Medicaid, cover basic reproductive health care services like family planning, pre-natal care, and pap tests as they do for other health care services. ICAH supports.
Ultrasound Opportunity Act (H.B. 5743)
A bill that requires that a facility that performs abortions may not perform an abortion on a woman without first offering the woman an opportunity to receive and view an ultrasound. The bill sets forth requirements for the ultrasound image and requires that the woman’s response to the offer be documented. The bill also requires the Illinois Department of Public Health to prepare an annual reporting form for facilities that perform abortions and collect certain information. ICAH opposes.
Prevention First Act (H.R. 463/S. 21)
An omnibus prevention bill that includes increases to the Title X family planning program, funding for a national education program about emergency contraception, a mandate that all hospital emergency rooms provide information and access to emergency contraception for sexual assault victims, funding for comprehensive sex education, and an accuracy in contraception information section that would ensure young people receive medically-accurate information about the health benefits of condoms and contraceptives. ICAH supports.
Responsible Education About Life Act (H.R. 1551/S. 611)
A bill to provide grants to states for the purpose of conducting comprehensive sexuality education programs. Programs funded under the REAL Act must be age-appropriate and medically-accurate, stress abstinence as the only sure way to avoid pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections, and provide information about the health benefits and side effects of all contraceptives. The REAL Act would ensure that taxpayer dollars are used appropriately by requiring evaluation of all programs receiving grant money by both the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services and individual states.