Chicagoans rally against Texas abortion law

Organized by Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, the “Bans Off My Body” rally in Federal Plaza attracted about 20 anti-abortion counter-protesters.

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Illinois Handmaids hold signs during the “Bans Off My Body” rally, decrying Texas’ new law that bans most abortions after six weeks into pregnancy, Friday afternoon at Federal Plaza in the Loop.

Illinois Handmaids hold signs during the “Bans Off My Body” rally, decrying Texas’ new law that bans most abortions after six weeks into pregnancy, Friday afternoon at Federal Plaza in the Loop.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

About 150 abortion-rights activists rallied Friday afternoon in the Loop, decrying Texas’ new law that bans most abortions after about six weeks.

“At the heart of it all is that abortion is health care,” said Amy Whitaker, the chief medical officer at Planned Parenthood of Illinois, who said they have already seen patients from Texas travel to Illinois to seek care. “Abortion is essential.”

Organized by Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, the “Bans Off My Body” rally in Federal Plaza attracted about 20 anti-abortion counter-protesters.

“We’re celebrating the fact that Texas has passed the law that bans abortion after the heartbeat is detected,” said Ann Ritter, with the Pro-Life Action League. “It’s a step in the right direction.”

A brief but tense standoff ensued between opponents and supporters of the Texas law as abortion-rights activists chanted, “My body, my choice!” while counter-protesters held posters that read, “Abortion takes a human life.” No arrests were made.

While counter-protesters rally behind him, Jerald Kluting stands with a sign during the “Bans Off My Body” protest Friday afternoon at Federal Plaza in the Loop.

While counter-protesters rally behind him, Jerald Kluting stands with a sign during the “Bans Off My Body” protest Friday afternoon at Federal Plaza in the Loop.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Jessica Droger, a marshal with Indivisible Chicago, asks pro-life activist Emily Iverson to step aside during the “Bans Off My Body” rally Friday afternoon at Federal Plaza in the Loop.

Jessica Droger, a marshal with Indivisible Chicago, asks anti-abortion activist Emily Iverson to step aside during the “Bans Off My Body” rally Friday afternoon at Federal Plaza in the Loop.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

(From left) Cook County Board Commissioner Donna Miller, Stacy Michelon and Laura Tucker chant during the “Bans Off My Body” rally, decrying Texas’ new law that bans most abortions after six weeks into pregnancy, Friday afternoon at Federal Plaza in the Loop.

(From left) Cook County Board Commissioner Donna Miller, Stacy Michelon and Laura Tucker chant during the “Bans Off My Body” rally, decrying Texas’ new law that bans most abortions after six weeks, Friday afternoon at Federal Plaza in the Loop.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Mary Ann Cronauer, a member of Pro-Life Action League, has an argument with a marshal during the “Bans Off My Body” rally Friday afternoon at Federal Plaza in the Loop.

Mary Ann Cronauer, a member of Pro-Life Action League, has an argument with a marshal during the “Bans Off My Body” rally Friday afternoon at Federal Plaza in the Loop.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

Over 150 opponents of Texas’ new abortion law and about 20 counter-protesters gather for the “Bans Off My Body” rally Friday afternoon at Federal Plaza in the Loop.

Over 150 opponents of Texas’ new abortion law and about 20 counter-protesters gather for the “Bans Off My Body” rally Friday afternoon at Federal Plaza in the Loop.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

A member of the Illinois Handmaids holds a sign as Rita Sweeney, a member of Pro-Life Action League, yells at attendees during the “Bans Off My Body” rally Friday afternoon at Federal Plaza in the Loop.

A member of the Illinois Handmaids holds a sign as Rita Sweeney, a member of Pro-Life Action League, shouts at attendees during the “Bans Off My Body” rally Friday afternoon at Federal Plaza in the Loop.

Pat Nabong/Sun-Times

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