* I have yet to receive a single press release from an Illinois Republican politician praising the US Supreme Court’s ruling or the Texas law the high court allowed to stand. The Illinois House and Senate Republican leaders are both anti-abortion advocates, but they’ve been quiet. The Illinois Republican Party has been similarly mute. Heck, even US Rep. Mary Miller and Sen. Darren Bailey haven’t tweeted about it.
…Adding… US Rep. Miller and the rest of the state’s Republican delegation signed on to an amicus brief in late July asking the US Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Either the dog has finally caught the car and doesn’t know what to do with it, or they realize how unpopular the law is in Illinois with all-important suburban women, or both. The Democrats are not nearly so shy…
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday that he’s “very concerned” about the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision not to block a new Texas law banning most abortions in the state, and vowed Illinois would continue to welcome women from elsewhere who need reproductive health care.
“Shame on those Texas lawmakers for taking away, not just women’s rights, but women’s health,” Pritzker, a first-term Democrat, said at an unrelated news conference in Chicago. “Banning abortion does not keep women safe.”
A deeply divided high court allowed the Texas law to remain in force in the nation’s biggest abortion curb since the court legalized abortions nationwide almost half a century ago. The court voted 5-4 to deny an emergency appeal from abortion providers and others but also suggested that their order likely wasn’t the last word and that other challenges can be brought.
* NBC 5 takes a look at the Illinois impact…
Illinois has “very strong pro-reproductive rights laws,” said Carolyn Shapiro, professor of law and co-director of Chicago-Kent College of Law’s Institute on the Supreme Court of the United States.
So women’s rights in the state likely won’t be threatened by the Texas law “in the short term,” she said. […]
Shapiro noted that if Roe v. Wade is overturned and Congress debates the possibility of a nationwide abortion restriction, then the impacts could be felt in Illinois.
“If there are national efforts to change the law in Congress to impose different types of abortion bans - as Congress did with what they call the partial birth abortion ban, which the Supreme Court upheld - they could then… that would obviously have enormous effects here in Illinois and would be quite frightening.”
Activists from both sides of the abortion debate believe Illinois will see an uptick in travel here for the procedure.
“I think we’re definitely going to be seeing higher abortion rates in Illinois,” Scheidler said. “That trend will continue as other states enact other pro-life measures, whether we’re talking about measures that have already been upheld by the Supreme Court or measures that are completely new like this Texas law.”
Thousands of women already travel to Illinois from other states each year to access abortions. In 2019, roughly 7,500 crossed state lines for the procedure, about 16% of all terminated pregnancies in Illinois that year. The number of out-of-state abortions has increased every year since 2014, according to Illinois Department of Public Health data.
While it’s impossible to know the reasons for each individual decision to travel for the procedure, many experts have attributed the overall rise to increasing restrictions in other states.
* Sun-Times editorial…
The Texas law actually bars state officials from enforcing the law. You won’t see Texas Rangers closing down abortion clinics that continue to perform abortions after six weeks. Instead, the law grants private individuals the authority to sue anybody — except the actual patient herself — who “aids and abets” such an abortion, including doctors, counselors and drivers.
The bounty is $10,000. That’s how much the State of Texas will pay if you sue and win. Plus, the state will pick up your legal bills. You don’t even have to have some connection to the abortion. You can live in Peoria and sue a stranger in Houston.
But what if you are the person who is sued and you win? Texas will not pay your legal fees. And the state sure as heck won’t fork over $10,000.
A Missouri law that took effect last week allows citizens to sue local law enforcement agencies whose officers knowingly enforce any federal gun laws. Police and sheriff’s departments can face fines of up to $50,000 per occurrence. The law was backed by Republicans who fear Democratic President Joe Biden’s administration could enact restrictive gun policies.
In Kansas, a new law prompted by frustration over coronavirus restrictions allows residents to file lawsuits challenging mask mandates and limits on public gatherings imposed by counties. Last month, the Kansas Supreme Court allowed enforcement of the law to proceed while it considers an appeal of a lower court ruling that declared the law unconstitutional.
Utah also took a similar strategy on pornography last year, passing a law that allows citizens to sue websites that fail to display a warning about the effects of “obscene materials” on minors. Though adult-entertainment groups warned it was a violation of free speech, many sites have complied with the law to avoid the expense of a possible onslaught of legal challenges.
* Texas abortion providers say they’ve been forced to turn away patients under new law: Rebecca Tong, who operates an abortion clinic in neighboring Oklahoma, said she’s become inundated with out-of-state calls. “The phones have just been ridiculous,” said Tong, co-executive director of Trust Women. “About two-thirds of our call volume right now is Texas people.”
* Texas’s new abortion law threatens women’s health and well-being: In 1947, for example, Chicago police captured eight women outside the building of a midwife-abortionist, put them in police cars and drove them to a medical office for internal pelvic examinations by a doctor searching for evidence of an abortion in progress. The state claimed that the police “escorted” the women, who “consented” to the exams and volunteered to testify. But there was nothing voluntary about the women’s role in this investigation; it was entirely coercive. Police had cursed at them, threatened to call a paddy wagon if they resisted and manhandled them into police cars.