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The Latest: Illinois House adopts abortion protections

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Latest on action in the Illinois General Assembly (all times local):

2:15 p.m.

The Illinois House has endorsed expanded abortion protections as a half-dozen other states strive to restrict the procedure.

Chicago Democratic Rep. Kelly Cassidy's Reproductive Health Act was approved 64-50 Tuesday. It rescinds 45-year-old regulations on abortion which court injunctions have long blocked. It requires insurance coverage for abortions, contraception, and related medical care.

Cassidy repeatedly maintained that the measure simply codifies existing practice. She says restrictions in other states will become tests for a U.S. Supreme Court with two recent appointees who oppose the 1973 Roe v. Wade opinion legalizing abortion.

Republicans strenuously objected. Rep. Avery Bourne of Raymond called the plan a "broad expansion" of abortion and would make late-term abortions widely available despite the viability of a fetus outside the womb.

The bill moves to the Senate. The General Assembly is scheduled to adjourn its spring session on Friday.

12:32 p.m.

The Illinois House is debating legislation to strengthen protections for abortion and related procedures.

Chicago Democratic Rep. Kelly Cassidy's legislation would require insurance coverage for abortions, contraception and related medical care. It also rescinds 45-year-old restrictions on abortion which are not enforced because of court injunctions.

Cassidy and supporters of abortion rights say the measure is necessary because of several other states' action to tighten abortion availability and recent U.S. Supreme Court appointees who oppose the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion.

The House debate began just after 11:30 a.m. Republican Rep. Avery Bourne of Raymond has led the questioning. She calls it a "broad expansion" of abortion.

Cassidy maintains that the measure simply puts current abortion practice into state law.

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