Sara has worked diligently to improve women’s health during her service as State Representative. She was the chief sponsor of a bill that requires coverage for breast and cervical cancer screenings and treatment for low-income women. She was also the lead sponsor of the Gender Violence Act, which would allow victims of gender-based domestic violence to sue their attackers in civil court.
Sara was proud to be the chief co-sponsor of SJRCA4 , which ratifies the Equal Rights Amendment in Illinois. Throughout Sara’s tenure in the General Assembly, passing the ERA has been an uphill battle. Sara continued to champion the ERA, and Illinois finally solidified an almost half-century long fight for women.
The ERA’s sole purpose is to guarantee equal rights to women under the constitution by ratifying this simple promise: “Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on the account of sex.” Sara is hopeful that this resolution will bring back the momentum needed for Illinois to be the 38th state to ratify the ERA and finally make it law of the land.
Sara believes strongly in a woman’s right to choose, and fights vigorously in Springfield to protect that right. She sponsored and passed HB40 , which expands insurance programs for state employees and Medicaid recipients to include coverage for abortion, and ensures that abortion would remain legal in Illinois should Roe v. Wade – the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing it – be overturned. The law repealed the “trigger provision” language in Illinois’ 1975 law that would criminalize abortion if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
She also sponsored and passed HB211, “The Contraceptive Equity Act”, which requires insurance companies to cover women’s contraception. She was also the chief sponsor of House Bill 6577, “The Unintended Pregnancy Prevention Act”, which would allow pharmacists to distribute emergency contraception (EC) to women without a prescription. EC is one of the “best kept secrets” in preventing unintended pregnancies. It is currently available in many other countries over the counter and had been determined to be safe and effective by many national and international reproductive health experts. These same experts assert that we can cut the number of abortions in half if EC is available at a pharmacy.