Dobbs decision: Reactions to the end of Roe v. Wade

With the Supreme Court’s decision in the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization, Roe v. Wade has been overturned.

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People protest in response to the Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization ruling in front of the U.S. Supreme Court on June 24, 2022 in Washington, DC. The Court’s decision in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health overturns the landmark 50-year-old Roe v Wade case and erases a federal right to an abortion.

Brandon Bell/Getty Images

The future of a person’s right to have an abortion in the United States has been thrown into uncertainty Friday after the Supreme Court announced in the morning that it has overturned Roe v. Wade through its decision in the case of Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health Organization.

The decision means abortion bans will go into effect in almost half of the nation’s 50 states. The Supreme Court voted 6-3 to overturn Roe v. Wade, with Justice Samuel Alito writing the opinion and Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan dissenting.

Here’s a look at reactions from politicians, activists and residents and other important related stories on the day the Dobbs decision came down.

They had abortions years ago, see rollback of abortion access as a pivotal moment: ‘We have to help each other’

More than four decades after having an abortion, Amy isn’t sure whether protesting will be enough to ensure others will one day again have the same choices she had at 19.

She knew the U.S. Supreme Court would likely overturn the historic Roe v. Wade decision that had legalized abortions years before she had her own. Still, on Friday, hours after the high court published its opinion, she was still wrapping her head around the new reality.

“Our government is not going to help us. We have to help each other,” said Amy, who plans to keep raising money for abortion funds and helping those who will seek an abortion in Illinois, where it remains legal.

Amy was one of nine people from around Chicago who shared their stories of having had an abortion with the Chicago Sun-Times earlier this month in anticipation of Friday’s decision, which will result in some states banning the medical procedure.

While some expressed anger and disappointment hours at the ruling, one saw it as an answered prayer.

In Illinois, abortion will remain legal, and Gov. J.B. Pritzker already has called on the General Assembly to further protect abortion access.

Reporter Elvia Malagón has the full story.

GOP gov hopefuls: ‘Historic’ overturn of Roe v. Wade signals ‘battle for life in the frontlines moves right here to Illinois’

Republicans running for governor offered up prayers, thanks to former president Donald Trump and jabs at Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker — who has crowned himself “the most pro-choice governor in the entire nation.”

That was the celebratory GOP reaction Friday in the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.

Former venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan responded with a Twitter video showing him holding his five-month-old son Will, in which he declared with a smile, “What a beautiful day.”

“After decades of fighting to overturn Roe versus Wade, so many prayers around the nation, it’s finally here,” Sullivan says in the video. “Now, this battle for life in the frontlines moves right here to Illinois. We need a governor who will stand proudly for life.”

Read more reactions from Republican candidates for governor here.

Anti-abortion organizations react to Roe v. Wade’s end

Anti-abortion-rights groups throughout the Midwest are celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court decision that stripped women of the right to an abortion, calling the ruling a “momentous step” in protecting life.

“Today, we commend the Supreme Court for taking a very bold step to allow states to restore protections for preborn babies,” said Amy Gehrke, executive director of Illinois Right to Life.

“We are on the right side in acknowledging that the most innocent members in society deserve protections,” Gehrke said Friday at a news conference organized by March for Life Chicago, held at the South Loop Hilton Garden Inn.

Read more from Jordan Perkins here.

Readers react: With Roe overturned, America is no longer ‘land of the free, home of the brave’

Given that the U.S. Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade, and could potentially be targeting contraception and gay rights next, it is time to remove “land of the free” from our national anthem. Might as well do away with “home of the brave” as well, given that Republicans do not seem to be able to stand up to the religious right.

Last time I checked, there was something in the Constitution about the separation of church and state. Seems our Supreme Court justices, and a lot of our elected officials, have forgotten that.

Regina Gomory, Crystal Lake

Read more reaction in our Letters to the Editor.

Lightfoot tells those worried about getting abortions after Supreme Court ruling: ‘Come to Chicago.’

Mayor Lori Lightfoot had a simple message for those worried about their access to abortions after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday.

“Come to Chicago,” Lightfoot said during a news conference with Planned Parenthood and other groups that help provide abortions.


State Rep. Kelly Cassidy puts her arms around state Sen. Melinda Bush and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot during a press conference in response to the Supreme Court rolling back Roe v. Wade in its decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization’s case at Planned Parenthood of Illinois’ headquarters in the Loop, Friday afternoon, June 24, 2022.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

“We will protect you, we will make sure that your rights are respected,” she continued, hours after the expected ruling was finally handed down. “We will make sure that you get access to the health care you deserve.”

Read the full story here.

In Harrison Park, residents urge more men to speak up

“It’s taking women back 50 years. This is what the Trump thing has come down to, because this is what they wanted. And I think gay rights are next. It’s a snowball effect.” - Rebecca Gutierrez, 46.

Rebecca Gutierrez (right) with her partner and partner’s daughter.

Rebecca Gutierrez (right) with her partner and partner’s daughter.

Michael Loria / Sun-Times

“They got a vaccine for COVID, they should be allowed to have something for me. Because abortion is a good thing.” — Celeste Reyez, 20s.

“It’s important that everybody comes together right now. We’re all going to have to be drug dealers now.” — Keila, 23

“People should be able to do what they want with their bodies. Whether it’s the right decision or not.” — Serenity, 36.

“I’m horrified by it and I’m speaking up because people who don’t have uteruses are  remaining too silent on the issue.” — Kelan Smith, 24.

Kelan Smith, 24 and Keila, 23, in Harrison Park.

Kelan and Keila, from Harrison Park

Michael Loria/Sun-Times

On the West Side, residents urge personal autonomy

“Let people do what they want. It’s their body, it’s their life.” — Nicole Mack, 30s, pregnant woman in Garfield Park.

“My stance is that I’m glad that when I was in my mother’s womb it was illegal. I’m glad I wasn’t aborted. My thing is if someone was raped. That should be up to her.” — Ronald Ford, 60s, in Garfield Park.

“They should not be able to control no one, especially women. They don’t know anything about being a woman.” — Myya McGee, 20s. outside St. Anthony Children’s Hospital

“There’s a lot of other things going on right now. Why they worrying about women?” — Polly Colman, 50s, outside St. Anthony Children’s Hospital

Cardinal Cupich praises Court decision, should be “turning point” in dialogue

The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Chicago, Cardinal Blase Cupich, released a statement supporting the decision.

“Today, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its ruling in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturns the court’s tragic 1973 decision that removed legal protection for unborn children. We welcome this important ruling and the opportunity it creates for a national conversation on protecting human life in the womb and promoting human dignity at all stages of life. This moment should serve as a turning point in our dialogue about the place an unborn child holds in our nation, about our responsibility to listen to women and support them through pregnancies and after the birth of their children, and about the need to refocus our national priorities to support families, particularly those in need.

“The Catholic Church brings to such a conversation the conviction that every human life is sacred, that every person is made in the image and likeness of God and therefore deserving of reverence and protection. That belief is the reason the Catholic Church is the country’s largest provider of social services, many aimed at eliminating the systemic poverty and health care insecurity that trap families in a cycle of hopelessness and limit authentic choice.”

Read the full statement here.

In Humboldt Park, residents fear for what’s next

Our Michael Loria spoke to several residents in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood about the decision. Here are some of their reactions:

“I’m just reeling. Even if you know it’s coming, it’s makes you shake. It makes me afraid for what else they can take away.” — Jamie Macpherson, 34

“Losing this makes me wonder what’s next. I’m a Black queer woman. Black people are already facing so much, queer people are already facing so much, trans people are facing so much. Am I not going to be able to marry a white woman next?” — Karissa Kosman, 24

“As someone who’s queer and in a queer relationship, I’m considering leaving. It’s not safe for us, it’s not safe for us to go out, we can’t get reliable healthcare. And that might involve leaving until things change and that’s a change I might not live to see.” — Becca Schwartz, 25

“What’s next, Loving v Virginia? Great we live in Illinois but it shouldn’t be this Wild West scenario between the states where people have to drive hundreds of miles to get what they need. It’s a step toward theocracy.” — Dave Gonzalez, 35


From left to right: Jamie Macpherson, Dave Gonzalez, Becca Schwartz and Karissa Kosman.

Michael Loria/Sun-Times

“The court shouldn’t do that. Everyone should have the the right to their own body and to make their own decision.” — Miriam Cerda, 57

“Well it shouldn’t be legal, there’s already so many ways you can prevent getting pregnant.” — Aurea Bonet

Trump calls decision ‘biggest win for life in a generation,’ says it never would’ve happened without him

Former President Donald Trump, who appointed three of the Supreme Court justices who voted in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade, offered a celebratory statement Friday calling the Hobbs decision “the biggest win for life in a generation.”

Trump’s full statement:

“Today’s decision, which is the biggest WIN for LIFE in a generation, along with other decisions that have been announced recently, were only made possible because I delivered everything as promised, including nominating and getting three highly respected and strong Constitutionalists confirmed to the United States Supreme Court. It was my great honor to do so!

I did not cave to the Radical Left Democrats, their partners in the Fake News Media, or the RINOs who are likewise the true, but silent, enemy of the people. These major Victories prove that even though the Radical Left is doing everything in their power to destroy our Country, your Rights are being protected, the Country is being defended, and there is still hope and time to Save America! I will never stop fighting for the Great People of our Nation!”

More statements condemning Dobbs decision from Illinois officials and primary election candidates

Attorney General Kwame Raoul and other Illinois Democrats also joined in the chorus of public officials who have condemned the Supreme Court’s decision, while also making clear they intend for Illinois to remain a place to get safe and legal abortions.

“As I assured Vice President Kamala Harris yesterday at a White House roundtable on reproductive health, Illinois has been and will continue to be a proud reproductive health care oasis where women have the right to make their own highly-personal reproductive health decisions with their families and medical professionals,” Raoul said in a statement.

From Anna Valencia, who’s running for Secretary of State: “At this frightening and dangerous time, we need elected leaders in Illinois and at all levels of government who have always protected and advanced reproductive freedom ... The road ahead will no doubt be a difficult one, but I will continue to use my platform to speak out against these injustices and organize alongside movement leaders to defeat efforts to further erode our rights.”

From State Sen. Jacqui Collins, who’s running for Congress in the 1st District: “Knowing this vicious, politically-motivated decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade was coming doesn’t make it any easier to stomach. Especially because we know that the consequences of banning abortion will be shouldered by Black, Brown and low-income women who are already starved of resources, only to have their rights to bodily autonomy taken from them too. 

“Not only am I disgusted that the highest court in the land has stripped women and gender nonconforming people of our reproductive healthcare rights despite the fact that the majority of Americans support access to abortions, I am deeply afraid of what comes next unless Democrats fight back with everything we’ve got. That’s why I am running for Congress.”

From Alexi Giannoulias, who’s also running for Secretary of State: “Women deserve the fundamental human right to control their own bodies, and not be dictated by a right-wing agenda. Women have maintained this right for nearly 50 years before this Court decided to interpret the Constitution through a MAGA lens of extremism. Abortion, thankfully, will continue to remain legal here in Illinois, but my thoughts are with the women across America today who are immediately impacted by this decision; however, lives are at risk and we must take action to fix this.”

Sen. Durbin says Senate will explore ‘grim reality of a post-Roe America’

Sen. Dick Durbin announced Friday morning that the Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on July 12 to explore what the Dobbs decision means for Americans. Here’s the Illinois Senator’s full statement:

“Today’s decision eliminates a federally protected constitutional right that has been the law for nearly half a century. As a result, millions of Americans are waking up in a country where they have fewer rights than their parents and grandparents.

“The bottom line: on critical, personal choices involving a woman’s right to make reproductive decisions about her own body, do you trust her or the government? The Supreme Court now says a woman’s right to privacy does not extend to the most personal, private choice she will ever face.

“The Senate Judiciary Committee will explore the grim reality of a post-Roe America in a hearing next month. The Court’s decision to erase the right to access an abortion will not only lead to the denial of critical health care services, but also criminal consequences for women and health care providers in states eager to embrace draconian restrictions. I will keep fighting to enshrine into law a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices. We cannot let our children inherit a nation that is less free and more dangerous than the one their parents grew up in.”

Women’s March calls for ‘summer of rage,’ ACLU slams Supreme Court for pushing nation into a ‘historic crisis’

Advocacy group Women’s March, in a statement saying the group is angry and devastated, declared its “summer of rage has just begun. We’ll see you in the streets.” Here’s a full, separate statement from Women’s March Executive Director Rachel O’Leary Carmona:

“It’s no surprise that this illegitimate, far-right Supreme Court wants to take away our constitutionally protected rights. Instead of waiting around for a Court that abdicated its duties to protect the Constitution long ago, Democrats should have mobilized and fought for us. 

“But they failed. Now, like always, the burden falls to women to lead this fight. And we will be ungovernable, unmanageable, and unrelenting until this government starts working for us. We will fight back like we always have. And we will win. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.” 

The ACLU also slammed the Supreme Court’s decision to push “this country and itself into a historic crisis, one that will reverberate far beyond the ability to get an abortion.”

“Second-class status for women has once again become the law because of today’s decision,” Anthony D. Romero, executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union, said in a statement.

Foxx ‘determined to help Illinois remain a safe haven’

In a video posted to her Twitter account not long after the decision, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx said she’s “determined to help Illinois remain a safe haven for all people seeking reproductive freedom.”

Pritzker vows to ‘fight like hell to protect’ right to choose

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker called the Dobbs decision a “direct assault on the right to privacy and self determination” while reiterating that abortion remains safe and legal in the state.

Here’s his campaign’s full statement:

“Today, in a direct assault on the right to privacy and self determination, the United States Supreme Court confirmed our worst fears on Roe vs Wade. The Republican Party and the extremists they appointed to the Supreme Court have satisfied their goal.

However, to women everywhere: abortion is still safe and legal in Illinois. 

Governor Pritzker enshrined the right to choose into state law in preparation for this very moment and we will not go backwards. Illinoisans overwhelmingly support a woman’s right to control her own future — and Governor Pritzker will fight like hell to protect those rights. 

Radical Republicans, including every GOP candidate for governor, want to dismantle the freedom to choose and take our state back to the dark ages. Their extreme policies would undo decades of progress and pose a clear threat to our most fundamental rights. 

The governor remains committed to defending against this dangerous backslide and refuses to accept a world where our children have fewer rights than we did. In Illinois, we trust women and we will always defend their right to choose.”

Tina Sfondles has more on Pritzker’s response here.

Obama calls decision an attack on ‘essential freedoms’

The former president also linked to a full Medium post of his thoughts on the Dobbs decision.

Supreme Court announces Dobbs decision

After weeks of speculation following the leak of an opinion draft, the Supreme Court on Friday officially ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place nearly 50 years in a decision by its conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Friday’s outcome is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states, the Associated Press reports. It puts the court at odds with a majority of Americans who favored preserving Roe, according to opinion polls.

Justice Samuel Alito, in the final opinion issued Friday, wrote that Roe and Planned Parenthood v. Casey, the 1992 decision that reaffirmed the right to abortion, were wrong the day they were decided and must be overturned.

Joining Alito were Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. The latter three justices are Trump appointees. Chief Justice John Roberts voted with the majority, but wrote a concurrence saying he would’ve limiting the decision to only upholding the Mississippi law at issue in the Dobbs v. Jackson case.

Justices Stephen Breyer, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan — the diminished liberal wing of the court — were in dissent.

Read the full AP story here.

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