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Abortion Restrictions

If you’re thinking about having an abortion, you may be wondering if there are abortion restrictions that would apply to your situation. In 1973, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the case of Roe v. Wade that abortion was legal in the United States at the federal level. It has been left to each state to regulate their practice of abortion, therefore, regulations and restrictions vary from state to state. In this article we’ll review and summarize laws and regulations for Illinois. Even with this information, however, you may have additional questions about the options available to you. We urge you to read on for the ways in which Avenue Women’s Center may provide further service to you.

Since 1981, Avenue Women’s Center has been a source of information and care for women in Chicagoland facing an unplanned pregnancy. We are the first step for pregnancy and abortion information, and we are committed to give you the best possible service as you navigate the choices ahead of you. Many of our services are available to you free of charge, including a no-obligation, private, confidential pregnancy consultation. Our thirty-six years of experience supporting each of our clients in her unique circumstance with her unintended pregnancy have prepared us to meet you with nonjudgmental compassion and attention. Contact us today to schedule your private consultation.

Here are some Illinois abortion restrictions by state law:

  • Illinois permits abortion during all stages of the pregnancy, although there are restrictions on abortions done past viability (typically 24 weeks).
  • Post-viability abortions may be performed if the healthcare provider identifies physical, emotional, psychological, or familial conditions that may threaten the mother’s health. It is the responsibility of the healthcare provider to determine if these factors are relevant to the woman’s situation, and the provider will use his/her own discretion to decide If the woman’s reasons for wanting an abortion meets with his/her approval.
  • The attending healthcare provider will examine the facts of the case and use their judgment to determine fetal viability.
  • Any factors relevant to the woman’s health and well-being will be considered in an abortion decision if the health care provider has decided the fetus is viable.
  • Previously there existed a requirement that a second physician must assist with a post-viability abortion. However, legislative acts have removed this standard of practice.
  • A medical abortion may be administered by a non-physician, such as a nurse or a physician assistant. The scope of practice for non-physicians is expanded in Illinois to include the performance of surgical abortions.

What are some abortion pill restrictions?

To ensure the safe use of the drug, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has placed some prohibitions and abortion restrictions on medical abortion using the abortion pill. These apply at the federal level, in every state.

  • The abortion pill may not be used after 10 weeks’ gestation (70 days after the first day of the last menstrual period). This applies to the medical abortion only, not to a surgical abortion.
  • The abortion pill must be prescribed and provided only through a certified healthcare provider.
  • It is not available in pharmacies. It must be dispensed at a clinic, medical office, or hospital.
  • The provider of the abortion pill must ensure that the patient has access to a facility for medical care should an emergency arise.
  • It is the responsibility of the provider to review and give to the patient a copy of the Patient Agreement Form, and a signed copy of the Form and the Medication Guide must be given to the patient.

As noted earlier, abortion restrictions and regulations vary from state to state. In addition, state laws may change at any time as a result of new legislation, court rulings or other means. It is the responsibility of healthcare providers and of patients to research current laws or to seek assistance to verify what is allowed in their state.

Abortion restrictions and regulations are important considerations. Equally important are other questions:

  • What are the various abortion procedures?
  • What will a woman typically experience with each?
  • What side effects are common?
  • What about general safety and risks?

The decisions you must make in an unplanned pregnancy will have both immediate and long-term effects. It is wise to explore and weigh all your options. The experienced client advocates at Avenue Women’s Center are here to assist you with these concerns and more. We will come alongside you as you assess your options and determine the course of action that’s best for you. We will support you in this journey from beginning to end. Please contact us today by phone, text, email or chat. We are waiting to hear from you.


  • FindLaw. Illinois Abortion Laws. Retrieved from:
  • Guttmacher Institute. (2019, September). State Facts About Abortion: Illinois. Retrieved from:
  • American Pregnancy Association. (2017, April). Abortion Procedures. Retrieved from:
  • US Food and Drug Administration. (2016, March). Postmarket Drug Safety Information for Patients and Providers>Questions and Answers on Mifeprex. Retrieved from:

Reviewed by Patricia Kuenzi, APN-CNP, MSN, ANP, PNP.

The information provided here is general in nature.  It is not a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional. Before any medical procedure, it is imperative that you discuss your personal medical history, risks, and concerns with your doctor. If you have questions during or after a procedure, your doctor should be immediately contacted. Avenue Women’s Center is not an emergency center.  If you are experiencing severe symptoms, such as bleeding and/or pain, seek immediate medical attention.  Contact your physician, go to an emergency room, or call 911.