Jun 24, 2022 - News

What the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade reversal means for Illinois

Illustration of a caduceus turning into a gavel.

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The highly-anticipated SCOTUS opinion out Friday means the end of Roe v. Wade — but not much will change in Chicago.

Why it matters: Illinois has protected access to abortions through the Reproductive Health Act signed into law by Gov. JB Pritzker in 2019.

  • The act says abortion is a "fundamental right" in Illinois.

Yes, but: Conservative Republicans like gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey have run anti-abortion campaigns, signaling they would use the governor's office to change the law.

  • "As Governor, my focus will be restoring parental notification, ending taxpayer-funded abortion, and prioritizing and ensuring viable options that save lives and support women and families before, during, and after pregnancy," Bailey said in a statement.

State of play: The state of Illinois has long been a safe haven for abortions, both for locals and for those coming from states with restrictive laws.

Between the lines: Since the leak of the SCOTUS decision in early May, Pritzker has become the face of pro-abortion rights governors, from appearances on CNN to touring other states.

What he's saying: "Let me be clear, abortion will always be safe and legal here in Illinois," Pritzker said in a statement after the Supreme Court leak.

"Illinois is and will remain a beacon of hope in an increasingly dark world. I will fight like hell — not just for the women who call Illinois home, but every person in every corner of this country who deserves to live a life of their own design."

What's next: Abortion clinics will continue to operate in Illinois, including a recently built Planned Parenthood facility strategically located near the Missouri border to help women coming from restricted states.

Go deeper: Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade


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