State and local politicians and abortion rights stakeholders reacted swiftly Monday night to news that a draft notice had been circulated among US Supreme Court justices that would strike down the rights to guaranteed abortions in the landmark Roe v. Wade case.
Democratic Governor JB Pritzker immediately caught on Twitterwriting, “Hell no! In Illinois, women are trusted. We cannot allow their deepest, personal rights to be violated.
Later, Pritzker said, “Let’s be clear: This has always been the ultimate goal of the GOP. For a party that claims to be about freedom, Republicans are eager to deny millions of women the right to choose. As long as I am governor, Illinois will remain a beacon for reproductive freedom. We won’t be going back.
The draft opinion, obtained and published by Politico, reported that a majority of justices favored overturning the 1973 case earlier this year. The leak of such a document itself would be a rare event at the level of the highest court in the land.
Colleen Connell, executive director of the ACLU of Illinois, called “extremely rare and extraordinary the leaking of a proposed Supreme Court decision. If the ruling is backed by five justices, the court will allow limits on the ability of millions of Americans to make the most fundamental decisions about their lives — including whether or when to have a child, who to love and who to marry.
US Senator Tammy Duckworth, a Democrat, said on Twitter that “this is not final and the far-right Supreme Court majority will not have the final say. The American people will.
“Tonight it is important that we get loud, organize and demand action from the Senate,” Duckworth wrote. “Retweet if you agree it’s time to protect Roe from Wade NOW.”
Mayor Lori Lightfoot also took to social media to express her displeasure.
“What we see tonight on Roe v. Wade is an appalling attack on our fundamental right to choose, and we will fight this with everything we have,” Lightfoot tweeted. “You have my word: I will do everything possible to guarantee your right to an abortion.
Lightfoot extended his comments in a statement, saying Roe v. Wade was a landmark decision that “paved the way for women in need of reproductive care to access safe abortions for decades and, most importantly, decide for themselves the circumstances under which they chose to bear children. If that draft opinion becomes the law of the land, women and their families will suffer, needlessly.
Lightfoot goes on to say that the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade “will set a precedent for gutting the legal foundations used to protect against gender discrimination generally, including women’s rights, trans rights, immigrant rights and, of course, the right to marry. homosexual and interracial.
“Chicago will continue to be a haven for those seeking to access the full spectrum of safe reproductive care,” Lightfoot said. “We will also continue to fight in Chicago to protect the right to choose and we will not stop fighting to protect that right in our surrounding counties and states. Don’t let this setback be a lasting defeat. “
Cook County Council Chairman Toni Preckwinkle also released a statement on Twitterstressing how this is particularly “devastating…for low-income black and brown women who will be disproportionately affected.”
Amy Gehrke, executive director of Illinois Right to Life, said she only learned about the Politico report minutes before she received a call from a Tribune reporter.
“My first reaction is that this is absolutely despicable and shows that abortion activists will stop at nothing to protect Roe from Wade,” Gehrke said.
“A decision that has been incredibly harmful to women and has resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of unborn babies since 1973,” she said. “I saw it on the news and instantly my phone started exploding.”
Gehrke also noted the preliminary nature of such a document, wondering how the situation would ultimately unfold.
Democratic members of Congress from Chicago and nearby suburbs criticized a decision as short-sighted and ignoring women’s rights.
“Let’s be clear – Republicans stole two Supreme Court seats to make this happen. The ‘little government’ party wants to control women’s bodies,” Democratic US Rep. Mike Quigley of Chicago wrote on Twitter. “It’s utterly shameful, but we can stop it. The Senate MUST end the filibuster and codify Roe.
U.S. Representative Robin Kelly of Matteson, who is also the leader of the Illinois Democratic Party, said on Twitter that “SCOTUS’ leaked opinion on Roe v Wade will set back women’s rights for generations.”
“Black women and those who live in rural areas will be the most affected. We need to codify the right to safe abortions,” Kelly added.
U.S. Representative Sean Casten of Downers Grove said voters need to “put pro-choice majorities in the House and Senate in November and we’ll fix that permanently.”
“Scream tonight. Cry tonight. Get mad tonight,” he wrote on Twitter. “And tomorrow at work.”
Casten’s opponent in the Democratic primary, U.S. Representative Marie Newman, said on Twitter, “It’s heartbreaking, but it certainly won’t stop me from fighting for women’s rights everywhere. We’ll walk. We will vote. We will never stop fighting.
But first-term Republican U.S. Representative Mary Miller of Oakland, however, hailed a decision toppling Roe.
“Our judges need your prayers to stand up to the radical abortion industry and defend life! she wrote on Twitter. “Unborn children have no voice to speak for themselves, we march for them and tonight we must pray for them!”
Jesse Sullivan, a cryptocurrency venture capitalist from Petersburg who is running for the GOP gubernatorial nomination, said on Twitter that when he heard the news of the proposed decision, “we fell to our knees. and said a family prayer in thanks for all the lives that will be saved.
Sullivan also took the opportunity to castigate the incumbent Democratic governor and declare that under Pritzker, Illinois “will be the abortion destination capital of the Midwest. Make this race a matter of life or death. We must put an end to late partial abortions. We must put an end to taxpayer-funded abortions. We need to bring back parental notification for minors.
It is believed that such a Supreme Court ruling would essentially bring the basis of abortion law in the country down to the state level. Many Republican-controlled states have already passed “trigger laws” that would ban abortion following such a high court choice.
In Illinois, state lawmakers have acted in recent years to protect abortion rights and make the procedure more accessible.
In December, Pritkzer signed a measure to repeal the requirement for abortion providers to notify parents of minors wanting the procedure. In 2019, Pritzker signed into law a law establishing the “basic right” of women to have an abortion and stating that a “fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus has no independent rights.”
In signing the 2019 bill, Pritzker said it was a preventative measure that “ensures that women’s rights do not hinge on the fate of Roe v. Wade, or the whims of a Supreme Court.” increasingly conservative in Washington”.
Tribune reporter Rick Pearson contributed.