As the Midwest becomes a sea of increasingly anti-abortion states, ahead of a Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade, Illinois has vowed to be a safe haven of the region for reproductive rights.
Democratic Governor JB Pritzker, who is currently running for re-election, reaffirmed his commitment to abortion rights after a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion showed most judges overturned a decades-old landmark ruling. which made the demand for abortion a federal right.
“Illinois is a ray of hope, and we will fight like hell for women here and across the country” even if the Supreme Court reversed the row, the governor said earlier this month.
At least 26 states are either certain or likely to move quickly to ban abortion if the Supreme Court issues a decision similar to the draft opinion, according to The Guttmacher Institute, a reproductive rights research group. Most of these states are in the South and Midwest — and geographically surround abortion-friendly Illinois — making it more likely for people in the region to have abortions safely without having to travel to the shores to get an abortion. , High Court revokes federal protection .
If other states ban abortion outright, the percentage of women whose nearest abortion provider would be in Illinois would increase to 8,651%, according to Guttmacher. Abortion seekers will likely drive from Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Missouri, Louisiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, Arkansas, Iowa and Alabama.
“I want to promise you that I will fight hard not only for the women who call Illinois home, but for every person in every corner of this country whose rights are at risk.” Pritzker spoke at a rally in support of abortion rights Friday in Chicago. “Like you now, I’m proud that Illinois is an island for reproductive freedom in the Midwest, but our shores are open to anyone who has been abandoned by these extremist politicians.”
The Pritzker signed a law in 2019 that effectively codified Roe v. Wade, should the federal rule be reversed. The Reproductive Health Act establishes a “fundamental” right to abortion in Illinois and requires health insurance companies to cover the procedure. It also prevents a pregnant person’s partner from being able to have their abortion legally blocked and protects doctors from criminal penalties or having their license approved if they have performed the abortion.
According to the state Department of Public Health, about 46,000 people had abortions in Illinois in 2020. About 10,000 of those patients had traveled from other states, strongly indicating that Illinois is already serving as a safe haven for surrounding Midwestern states with restricted abortion access.
In December, the governor signed a law repealing a requirement that notifies doctors—though those 17 and younger—must not obtain consent from parents or guardians before performing an abortion. This repeal is expected to take effect from June 1.
Chicago’s health department on Monday pledged $500,000 to help residents and neighboring states have better access to abortion, as Illinois’ abortion clinics and providers prepare for a massive influx of patients from surrounding anti-abortion states. We do. According to Block Club Chicago, abortion funds in Illinois are also increasing support to help with anticipated increased demand.
While the state’s efforts to protect abortion rights cannot be challenged in court for not being part of the Illinois Constitution, it can be repealed if the move receives substantial support from lawmakers under a Republican governor. . The two most prominent Republican gubernatorial candidates in Illinois have expressed their views on anti-abortion, with at least one of them Promotion on Restricting Access in the state.
With Democrats in Congress unlikely to successfully codify Roe v. Wade, the fight for reproductive rights will fall mostly on state-level races. Conservative leaders are already passing tough laws in several states, the latest being in Oklahoma where Republicans have banned abortions at about six weeks, with the exception of rape or incest, and facilitated a procedure in the state to private citizens. Deputed to prosecute the givers.
“Every candidate running for governor should be asked where they stand in defending reproductive rights,” Pritzker tweeted, “Do you intend to be like Oklahoma or do you intend to be like Illinois?”