Abortion rights advocates hold rally in Springfield


SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND) — Advocates from Resistor Sisterhood stood in front of the District Court building to protest federal regulations restricting access to abortion medications. 

A federal appeals court refused to suspend the FDA’s approval of abortion drug mifepristone. However, the pill can no longer be sent via mail to those seeking abortions in certain circumstances. 

Local advocates say while Illinois’ access to the drug is safe, more needs to be done to protect access nationwide. 

We can’t take the attitude ‘that this doesn’t affect me, so it’s okay’, because it isn’t,” said Patti Pace-Halpin, an organizer with Resistor Sisterhood. “We have to let others know that women’s healthcare and women’s rights are at stake and we need to keep awareness high and support so that people know that we remain a safe alternative for people seeking care. We can’t count on things staying the same.”

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Planned Parenthood of Illinois said access to the drug is critical for people seeking safe abortions. They say this particular ruling impacts certain groups of people more than others. 

“For black people, Latinx people, LGBTQ people, disabled people, immigrants, or people having trouble making ends meet, all of them will be disproportionately impacted,” said Brigid Leahy, Vice President of Public Policy at Planned Parenthood of Illinois. “Doing this cuts off access to a drug, forcing you to actually go in person to get it rather than getting it in the mail or via telehealth. Those things are problematic because they increase the expenses, the time, the effort, the resources, someone needs to get the care.”

Planned Parenthood of Illinois said there is a different drug they can offer if more restrictions on mifepristone take place, but they are hoping the Attorney General or Department of Justice steps in before the situation reaches that point. 

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April 13, 2023 at 08:00PM

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