Back to Feminist Response In Disability Activism (FRIDA)

Illinois Sterilization Bill NeedsYour Help Moday May 4!

FRIDA has previously sent alerts about this. We still need help to get this throgh our State Senate, and then if it passes it will go up for our governor's signature.

** High Priority **

End the Unauthorized Sterilization of Adults with Disabilities under

Currently, the Illinois Probate Act of 1975, which governs guardianship
of adult wards, does not require a guardian seeking to have a ward
sterilized to obtain the authority of the court to consent to such a
procedure. As a result, it is possible for a guardian to have a ward
sterilized without any court oversight and without any independent
representation of the ward’s interests.

HB 2290 will require a guardian seeking to have a ward sterilized to
file a petition with the court, which the court will decide following a
hearing that provides due process protections to the ward. A guardian
will only be allowed to consent to sterilization of a ward if the
guardian obtains an order from the court granting him/her the authority
to provide consent.

The U.S. has a long and shameful history of abusing and disregarding
the rights of people with disabilities to procreate, privacy and bodily
integrity through involuntary sterilization. In recognition of these
facts, a majority of states have enacted legislation to address this
issue. Illinois is one of 16 states that has not.

This bill will uphold and protect these fundamental constitutional
rights by establishing procedures and standards that the court must
follow in considering a petition for sterilization of a ward. If the
court determines that the ward has capacity to consent or not consent to
sterilization, and the ward objects or consents to the procedure, the
court must enter an order in accordance with the ward’s decision. If
the court finds the ward lacks that capacity, then the court must make a
decision based upon specific factors and must provide written findings
of fact and conclusions of law to support its decision.

This bill is assigned to the Senate Judiciary Committee and will be
heard on May 5, 2009 at 2:30 p.m. in Room 400 of the Capitol Building.
Please voice your support for HB 2290 by calling the committee members
and/or attending the hearing:

Chairperson: A.J. Wilhelmi 217-782-8800
Vice-Chair: Don Harmon 217-782-8176
Minority Spokesperson: Kirk W. Dillard 217-782-8148
Randall M. Hultgren 217-782-8022
Matt Murphy 217-782-4471
Dale A. Righter 217-782-6674
William R. Haine 217-782-5247
Terry Link 217-782-8181
Michael Noland 217-782-7746
Kwame Raoul 217-782-5338
Ira I. Silverstein 217-782-5500

Also, please ask your own legislators (Representatives and Senators) to
support and co-sponsor HB 2290 - and be sure to tell them you are a
constituent when you call. If you do not know who your legislators are
or how to contact them, go to and click on “Legislator
Lookup” (or contact the State Board of Elections).

Please contact Cheryl R. Jansen, Legislative Policy Manager, for
further information:
[email protected] (217) 544-0464 ext. 6013

*Read the full bill:

to comment