CHICAGO — Shortly after the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) overturned Roe v. Wade, which had guaranteed a woman’s right to abortion, Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker called for increased protection of abortion in the state.
“Let me make this explicit and clear to women throughout our state, the Midwest, and our nation: Illinois will be a safe haven for the exercise of your reproductive rights,” he said. “In Illinois, Roe v. Wade is still the law, and it will remain the law as long as we have a pro-choice legislature and a pro-choice governor. Here, we trust you to make your own decisions about your reproductive health. We will defend your right to bodily autonomy.”
Pritzker had a previously scheduled event about an HIV preventative medicine.
But the focus quickly shifted with the announcement.
Pritzker emphasized that abortions are still legal under Illinois’ Reproductive Health Act.
He’s also called the general assembly into special session to address Reproductive Health Rights.
Pritzker said the decision is attack on constitutional freedom and that right now abortion is under attack and next it will be contraceptives and then it will be fertility treatments.
He reaffirmed that Illinois will remain a safe haven not just for women here, but women all over the country.
“We stand with women who’s rights have been taken away today,” he said. “To the Right Wing office holder who today are cheering the ruling get your iron boot off women’s necks”
Those sentiments were echoed by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot earlier in the day Friday.
“This is not the America of 2022 and we refuse to roll back the clock,” Lightfoot said. “This decision today has much larger implications.”
Those larger implications refer to Justice Clarence’s Thomas’ concurring opinion on the decision which states the Supreme Court should also reconsider past rulings on the rights to contraception access, same-sex relationships and marriage equality.
“We are not going to be second class citizens again in this country,” Lightfoot said. “We’ve fought too many battles. This is another one we will fight and when we fight united we will win.”