(The Center Square) – From a Planned Parenthood facility in Fairview Heights Wednesday, Gov. J.B. Pritzker called on federal lawmakers to take action on federal protections for abortions.
Pritzker’s call to action comes after a leaked U.S. Supreme Court opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade will likely send the issue of abortion to individual states.
“To the U.S. Senators who are voting today on whether to safeguard a women’s right to choose, there is no archaic rule, no parliamentary maneuver that is more critical than protecting the lives and bodily autonomy of more than 160 million people,” Pritzker said.
The U.S. Senate failed to advance the House-passed Women’s Health Protection Act Wednesday. U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Hoffman Estates, said the bill would “help protect women’s constitutional right to choose” an abortion.
“By failing to advance the Women’s Health Protection Act, Senate Republicans are putting millions of women, especially low-income women and women of color, at risk of losing access to the healthcare they need when they need it,” Duckworth said in a statement.
Pritzker was asked about a string of protests that have been seen across the country.
“Peaceful protest is always welcome,” Pritzker said. “Exercising your First Amendment rights is appreciated and supported, even if we disagree. But … we will hold them responsible and they will go to jail if they do anything that’s illegal and attack anybody that’s either attempting to come to a clinic or who works at a clinic.”
Protests from groups on opposite sides of the argument have been happening all over the country in recent weeks, including protests outside the homes of U.S. Supreme Court justices.
The governor’s words and recent statements from Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, where Lightfoot posted to Twitter a “call to arms,” have sparked criticism from others.
Illinois Right to Life Foundation Executive Director Amy Gehrke said that the governor’s comments regarding the protests are hypocritical.
“What he did not mention was any of the threats and violence that has been waged against pro-life advocates,” Gehrke said. “So it really does seem to be a one-way street when talking about these protests.”
Pritzker went on to say that women’s rights to an abortion are being threatened.
“Women are under siege, basic rights to privacy, to healthcare, to the rights of women to control their own bodies, are about to be stripped away. The world is watching,” Pritzker said. “Here in Illinois, we trust women. To the U.S. Senate we say, ‘Be like Illinois.’”
Gehrke said that the governor cares less about the women in these positions and more about the business side.
“Governor Pritzker doesn’t really care about protecting these women,” Gehrke said. “He only cares about protecting the profits of his friends in the abortion business.”
A final Supreme Court decision on Roe v. Wade is expected to be handed down in the next several weeks.
May 18, 2022 at 07:07AM