Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) on Wednesday signed into a law a bill that provides sweeping protections for abortion rights, which he says makes Illinois the "most progressive" state in the nation on the issue. The news comes at a time when several states, including Missouri, Alabama, and Georgia, have passed and signed restrictive abortion laws. "In a time when too many states are taking a step backward, Illinois is taking a giant step forward for women's health," Pritzker said in a statement. The Reproductive Health Act, as its called, is effective immediately, and legally establishes that a "fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights" and repeals a 1975 state law that penalized doctors for performing "unnecessary" abortions.

Scroll for 5 things you
need to know now