Chicago-area reaction to pending Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision striking down abortion rights

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Twitter: “Hell no! In Illinois, we trust women. We cannot let their most profound and personal rights be violated.”

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Leaked Report Indicates Supreme Court Set To Overturn Roe v. Wade

Pro-choice and anti-abortion activists demonstrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court Building on Tuesday, May 3, 2022 in Washington.

Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

WASHINGTON — Here is reaction from Chicago and Illinois officials and activists to a pending Supreme Court decision to essentially strike down Roe v Wade, the abortion rights case, according to a draft obtained by POLITICO.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker and legislators will discuss the pending decision on Tuesday morning at 8:30 a.m.

You can watch live at

Pritzker said on Twitter: “Hell no! In Illinois, we trust women. We cannot let their most profound and personal rights be violated.”

“Let me be clear: this has always been the GOP’s ultimate goal. For a party that claims to be about freedom, Republicans can’t wait to deprive millions of women the right to choose.

“As long as I’m governor, Illinois will stay a beacon for reproductive freedom.

“We won’t go back.”

Mayor Lori Lightfoot: “Tonight, I join the chorus of millions of people nationwide who are sickened and enraged to learn that the Supreme Court has seemingly voted to strike down Roe v. Wade. This landmark decision has paved the way for women in need of reproductive care to access safe abortions for decades and importantly, decide for themselves the circumstances under which they chose to bear children. If this draft opinion becomes the law of the land, women and their families will suffer, needlessly. 

“And make no mistake, this decision will reverse the gains that women have made in the workplace and every other aspect of their lives since the Court first decided Roe. Also, the architects of this destruction will not stop at a woman’s right to choose. The Court’s draft opinion will establish a precedent for gutting the legal underpinnings used to protect against gender-based discrimination overall including women’s rights, trans rights, immigrant rights, and of course, the right to same-sex and interracial marriage. This decision truly epitomizes the dangers that exist at the intersection of racism and sexism.

“This Court truly does not care about settled legal precedent or its legitimacy as an independent body. The zeal with which Alito writes on behalf of the majority about the end of Roe leaves no doubt that the right-wing majority cares more about politics than the law. For shame.

“I also want to speak directly to those who are feeling the real-world impacts of these seismic shifts. We see you and we want you to know that your rights, your circumstances, and your choices matter. Chicago will continue to be a haven for those seeking access to the full range of safe reproductive care. We will also continue to fight in Chicago to protect the right to choose, and will not stop fighting to protect this right in our surrounding counties and states. Do not let this setback be a lasting defeat. People of goodwill still have the most important tool in our democracy — the right to vote. We will and we must vote them out.”

Earlier, the mayor said on Twitter: “What we’re seeing tonight on Roe v. Wade is a horrendous attack on our fundamental right to choose, and we will fight against it with everything we’ve got. You have my word: I will do everything I can to guarantee your right to an abortion.

“Overturning this decision would set our country back decades — and it’s just what the right wing in this country wants.

“As mayor, I have one message to anyone worried about access to abortion care… Chicago’s doors are open. We unequivocally respect you, and your choices.”

Rep. Mary Miller, R-Ill., on Twitter: “Our Justices need your prayers to stand up to the radical abortion industry and Defend Life! The unborn have no voice to speak for themselves, we march for them and tonight we must pray for them!”

Rep. Sean Casten, D-Ill., via Twitter: “Put pro-choice majorities in the House and Senate this November and we fix this, permanently. 

“Scream tonight. Cry tonight. Get angry tonight.

“And tomorrow, get to work.”

Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi, D-Ill.: “For nearly half a century, the right to choose has been a fundamental, sacred right protected by the Constitution. This evening’s leaked draft of the Supreme Court majority opinion reveals the final blow they plan to deliver to this sacred right by overturning Roe v. Wade. While this is only a draft opinion, it is also a warning of the grim reality that may befall our nation for all who ever believed that the right to make reproductive decisions should fall to individual women, not Congress, the President, nor Supreme Court Justices who will never have to live a day in their shoes.

“In the days and weeks ahead, I will join my colleagues in Congress and Americans across the country in speaking out for reproductive rights, defending them in legislative chambers, court rooms, and on street corners across our nation. While many of the consequences of this draft decision remain in doubt, there must be no doubt of the commitment of so many of us to ensuring that access to safe, affordable reproductive health care will survive – if not through the ruling of our highest court, then through the dedicated efforts of individual Americans.”

Rep. Marie Newman, D-Ill., on Twitter: “This is and has always been the end goal — the party of ‘small government’ has been hell-bent on controlling the bodies and personal health decisions of women for decades. 

“It is about damn time for the Senate to codify Roe V. Wade.”

City of Chicago Clerk Anna Valencia, secretary of state candidate: “If the final Supreme Court decision looks anything like this draft, it will be devastating for women across the country. We knew this was a possibility when Donald Trump was elected President and filled three vacancies on the Court. That’s why I spoke out back then in favor of HB 40, which ensures Illinois women maintain their reproductive rights, regardless of what the Supreme court says. 

“At this frightening and dangerous time, we need elected leaders in Illinois and across the country who have always protected and advanced reproductive freedom. I will always use my platform to fight to protect women’s access to abortion. The fight ahead will be a difficult one, and I remain unwavering in my commitment to defend that fundamental right.”

GOP House candidate in the 13th Congressional District Jesse Reising: “As someone who has dedicated their career to upholding the law, I firmly believe that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and has always advocated for the Supreme Court to reexamine its reasoning and analysis. Unborn children are among the most vulnerable members of our society and deserve our protection.

“But, this leaked opinion is the highest breach of trust in the important relationship between a Judge and their clerks and staff. Having clerked for two federal judges in my career, I know all too well how crucial confidentiality is to the administration of justice.

“This appears to be a disgusting attempt by the left to bully the court and tarnish the institution. An immediate and thorough investigation must be conducted to restore the sanctity of the court’s decision making process.”

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., on Twitter: “If accurate, today’s leak would represent a tragic step backwards for equal rights under the law. 

“This is an EMERGENCY.  

“ANYONE who believes that women should be equal under the law — it is time we mobilize and fight back!!”

Seventh Congressional District House candidate Kina Collins: “But this news is gutting. This isn’t a legal opinion — it’s a declaration of war. It is a violent, coordinated right-wing assault on our fundamental rights and freedoms.

“We cannot afford to wait for the right-wing SCOTUS to overturn Roe next month. Democrats have to act now. We need to codify our reproductive rights into law by abolishing the filibuster and passing the Women’s Health Protection Act immediately. And we need to expand the Supreme Court.

“The future of our reproductive freedom depends on it.”

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle on Twitter: “I remember a time before Roe v. Wade and know that we cannot go back.”

Third Congressional District Democratic House candidate state Rep. Delia Ramirez: “I am devastated and enraged about the Supreme Court’s draft opinion to overturn Roe Vs. Wade. Reproductive rights are under attack like never before. Let’s be clear that this decision it’s outrageous and unprecedented, but it is not final. We cannot sit back and watch, we must act with our votes and our voices. This is an attack on everyone’s reproductive freedoms but it is specifically harmful to poor, Black and Brown women and transgendered people.

“Illinois has led in protecting abortion and reproductive rights.This is precisely why I co-sponsored and helped pass the Reproductive Health Act in 2019, to guarantee the right to abortion for anyone in Illinois. We took abortion rights seriously and were proactive anticipating the draft decision we are witnessing today. Because of our work, Illinois is now a safe place for reproductive health care. In Congress, I will fight to codify abortion rights as health care. If the courts won’t protect women, it’s time for Congress to act and codify Roe v. Wade into law. Today, we mourn this awful decision, tomorrow we organize!”

First Congressional District Democratic House candidate Ald. Pat Dowell: “Right now, women across the country are receiving lifesaving medical care because of Roe v. Wade.

“As a mother, I know the tough choices women make every day for their families. I believe healthcare decisions should be made between a medical provider and their patient. And I believe in the right to privacy codified in the Fourth Amendment. For all of these reasons, I am proudly pro-choice. 

“In Congress, I promise to protect the freedom to choose. HR3755 and S1975 (the Women’s Health Protection Act, sponsored by Rep. Judy Chu and Senator Richard Blumenthal) cannot wait - and neither can we. The Senate should #EndTheFilibuster and vote. Now. If Roe is overturned, it is the beginning of eliminating civil rights for all of us.” 

Abortion rights Personal PAC CEO Terry Cosgrove: “Pro-choice voters in Illinois cannot allow Illinois’ richest person and right-wing super donor, Ken Griffin, to buy the 2022 elections with his hand-picked anti-choice extremist candidates for the Illinois Supreme Court, Governor, Attorney General and Illinois General Assembly. Personal PAC will make certain every pro-choice voter in Illinois will know the truth about these anti-democracy, right-wing candidates who will stop at nothing to rob women of their basic human right to make their own personal decisions about abortion and birth control. There are 22 bills sitting in the Illinois General Assembly today, and pending Illinois court challenges by anti-choice leaders, that would return Illinois to the darkest days of life-threatening illegal abortion, all just waiting for one bad election result. We must ensure 2022 is not that election.”

Jennifer Welch, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Illinois: “Planned Parenthood of Illinois is furious that the Supreme Court is prepared to ignore half a century of settled law and end the constitutional right to an abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade. But it’s also not a surprise. We have been preparing for this decision for years, and we will continue to ensure that every patient, no matter where they live, has access to the health care they need and deserve.

“We are proud to say that abortion is still safe and legal in Illinois.

“This is a devastating blow for the millions of people who will suddenly find themselves in an abortion desert; facing a daunting dilemma - travel hundreds of miles to access an abortion, seek an illegal alternative or carry a pregnancy to term against their will. We will continue to fight so that everyone can access the fundamental reproductive health care they need and deserve — no matter what.”

GOP governor candidate Jesse Sullivan on Twitter: “When we heard the incredible news tonight we dropped to our knees and said a prayer as a family in gratitude for all the lives that will be saved. And then we said the pledge of allegiance. The flag looks different after this ruling — it shines even brighter.

“Under Pritzker, IL will be the abortion destination capital of the Midwest. Making this race a matter of life and death. We must put an end to late-term, partial birth abortions. We must put an end to taxpayer funded abortions. We must bring back parental notification for minors.”

Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., on Twitter: “Let’s be clear: this is not final and the far-right Supreme Court majority will not have the last word.

“The American people will. Tonight, it’s important we get loud, organize and demand action from the Senate.”

Rep. Rodney Davis, R-Ill., statement:  “As a Pro-Life lawmaker, I’ve long advocated for an end to the ‘Roe’ decision. It was wrong from the beginning, and I hope the Court’s pending decision empowers states to enact pro-Life laws and protect the unborn.

“I am deeply concerned by the fact this draft opinion was leaked. This is nothing more than an attempt to intimidate the justices on this case and sway their opinion. A leak of this magnitude must be condemned and, if warranted, investigated and prosecuted. Those on the Left who are cheering this lawless type of behavior are contributing to the undermining of our Nation’s institutions and civic processes. Please pray for the safety of the justices on our Supreme Court.

“Democrats will use this moment to continue their push for a radical, pro-abortion agenda that’s far outside the mainstream. They are advocating for late-term and taxpayer-funded abortion, limits on parental involvement, restrictions on conscience objections, and more — nationwide, in all fifty states. Their extreme pro-abortion agenda is appalling and wrong. I will continue to oppose them every step of the way.”

Democratic Party of Illinois chair Rep. Robin Kelly: “If these reports are true, this outrageous Supreme Court decision would strike a devastating blow against women’s fundamental right to choose what’s best for their own bodies. I am appalled and furious at the hateful dismissiveness of established precedent mixed with the gleeful excitement from Republicans as they prepare to roll back the clock on the rights of women in our country and continue their systemic fight to take away individual freedoms.

“Illinois Democrats have made significant progress in expanding women’s reproductive rights in our state, but clearly this fight is long from over. We will continue to do everything in our power to protect the right to choose from Illinois Republicans dead-set on following the extremist playbook from their colleagues in states like Missouri, Kentucky, and Texas. With seats on Illinois’ Supreme Court on the ballot this November, along with statewide office holders, federal representatives, and our state legislature, the difference between Democrats and Republicans, and our work ahead, could not be clearer.

“To those who feel under attack right now, know that you are not alone. Illinois Democrats at every level will never stop fighting to protect your rights, your healthcare, and your voice. Never.”

Republican candidate for governor Gary Rabine: “Although it is just a draft opinion, it appears that the United States Supreme Court is about to reverse Roe V. Wade. which has allowed for the murder of thousands of unborn children. I am unapologetically pro-life, and I welcome the court’s reversal of this long-standing precedent. We must, as a state and a country, do all we can to protect the rights of the unborn.”

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