CHICAGO — Mayor Lori Lightfoot issued an executive order that would prohibit city workers and police from helping another state prosecute anyone traveling to Chicago to seek an abortion.
Lightfoot said this is a pre-emptive step as some states are looking at laws to make it illegal to cross state lines for abortions.
“You have a right to make medical decisions without fear of retaliation, prosecution or further harm, period. And while we cannot stop anti-abortion states from trying to take action in court against providers or patients in Chicago, we can ensure that as a city government we are never complicit in aiding and abetting these efforts,” Lightfoot said.
The mayor, along with several city and state elected leaders, were on hand for the signing of the executive order Thursday morning at city hall.
Lightfoot expects the city council to codify the order at a meeting when they next meet in September.
The Supreme Court ruling overturning Roe v Wade states have been working on anti-abortion legislation. It is estimated that Illinois and Chicago could see more than 20,000 patients traveling here over the next fiscal year.
The mayor was asked what the city would do about any court orders coming from other states.
“We have to take a long hard look at facts and circumstances at any such order or inquiry that comes. But we want to make sure that we set the lines in an unambiguous way that we’re not going to be complicit in living out the dreams of another state that wants to criminalize women for seeking access to healthcare,” said Lightfoot.
Some state lawmakers are also working on legislation that would help those traveling to Illinois avoid prosecution either civilly or criminally by another state. The state is also looking at ways they can support companies that will pay for their employees, who are seeking reproductive health, including abortions, to travel out of state.