* I’ve been telling subscribers about this for several days…
Gov. Pritzker to Call Special Session for Reproductive Health Rights, with Support from Speaker Welch and President Harmon
Governor Issues Statement on Urgency of Standing Up for Reproductive Rights
In Illinois, we trust women. Despite the action of the Supreme Court today overturning Roe v. Wade, the right to safe, accessible reproductive health care is in full force in Illinois – and will remain so.
In Illinois, we’ve planned for this terrible day, an enormous step backward and a shattering loss of rights. We passed the Reproductive Health Act, enshrining choice as the law of the land in Illinois. We removed the trigger law that would have prohibited abortion in Illinois with the overturning of Roe v Wade. We expanded health care so that finances are not a barrier to receiving reproductive care.
In Illinois, we are a state committed to expanding access to reproductive health care including abortion care, contraception access, fertility treatment and gender affirming care. We’ve made it clear that we trust people to make the best decisions for themselves about their own reproductive health.
In Illinois, we will hold firm to these rights and continue to work with stakeholders to expand them. To that end, I am calling the General Assembly into special session in the coming weeks, with the support and consultation of House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch and Senate President Don Harmon. Together, we are committed to taking swift action to further enshrine our commitment to reproductive health care rights and protections.
* From Senate President Don Harmon’s spokesperson…
We applaud the governor’s leadership, the Senate President is in agreement and we are working on the logistics.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Here we go…
UPDATE: Daily Public Schedule: Friday, June 24, 2022
What: Governor Pritzker to call for special session to further enshrine reproductive rights after Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade.
Where: Howard Brown Health Clark- 2nd Floor Atrium; 6500 N Clark St, Chicago.
When: 10:30 am
Note: Masks are required at this facility. Street parking available on Clark Street. Attendees and media should enter through main doors of clinic then take the elevator to the second floor.
*** UPDATE 2 *** I’m told by several sources that Democratic state Senators are being advised to keep July 6 and 7 open for a special session.
From an email…
Good morning Senators,
In light of this morning’s ruling and based on the availability survey results, please hold the following dates:
Wednesday, July 6th
Thursday, July 7th
*** UPDATE 3 *** Senate GOP Leader McConchie…
In response to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and Governor Pritzker calling a special session to expand abortion rights even further, Senate Republican Leader, Dan McConchie, issued the following statement:
“Let me be clear, Governor Pritzker and many Illinois Democrats want to push Illinois to the utter extreme on abortion policy. Right now, Illinoisans can already get an abortion in all nine months of pregnancy for any reason and use taxpayer dollars to pay for it. But that’s not enough. Now, they want us to help pay for out-of-state residents to travel to Illinois to receive abortions and even allow non-physicians here to perform them.
“This is clearly not what mainstream Illinoisans want. While the Governor is calling a special session to act on these and potentially other extreme measures, Illinoisans are trying to deal with soaring gas prices and massive grocery bills that are leaving families hopeless. Instead of dealing with these vital issues, Pritzker is embracing an extreme agenda that will make Illinois an outlier even amongst the most liberal states.”
…Adding… Gov. Pritzker’s statement to reporters today…
We knew this day was coming.
The extremists on the Supreme Court have made an abhorrent decision — one rooted in partisan games — leaving an indelible stain on our nation. Overturning Roe v. Wade directly contradicts the nation’s history of expanding rights in the United States. It’s an attack on freedom and liberty our constitution is supposed to guarantee. Right now, it’s abortion they’re taking away. Next, it will be birth control and other contraceptives. Next: fertility treatment. They are coming to take away women’s power to become mothers at the time of their choosing. And they are allowing states to criminalize the exercise of reproductive rights. Women and their doctors are now threatened with going to prison or being bankrupted because of the radical majority Donald Trump and his right-wing allies created on the Supreme Court.
Here we are. At exactly the point many of us feared and even predicted. Privacy rights are being eviscerated right before our very eyes. If they can take away your ability to control your own body, there’s not much that stops them from making marriage equality illegal and taking away employment protections for your beliefs or your orientation.
No ifs, ands, or buts about it: we are headed down a dangerous spiral that will erode our democracy. This attack on personal rights is not new in the world. We’ve read this book before. I’ve read this book before. Maybe the Supreme Court will now authorize burning the book.
If you want a glimpse into the future, you can look to our past.
Just a few miles away from here, at the old Cook County hospital, there was a wing once known as Ward 41. Ward 41 was dedicated to what they used to call “septic obstetrics”—or in layman’s terms: botched abortions. From 1961 to 1965 ALONE, Ward 41 doctors managed the aftermath of over 20,000 illegal abortions. Because abortions were illegal, desperate women sought out desperate solutions. Hospital professionals from back then say what they saw was nothing short of horrific — disturbing memories etched into their minds for eternity.
They treated women who burned their insides with bleach and peroxide. Women whose uteruses were perforated with paintbrushes, cocktail stirrers, knitting needles, and wire coat hangers. Women who were nearly dead due to unimaginable blood loss and advanced sepsis. These women saw no other choice. They risked their lives out of desperation for just a semblance of control. And far too many died.
Before Roe v. Wade, criminal abortions were the leading cause of maternal death in the United States by a 7 to 1 margin. Those who did not die were left infertile, in perpetual pain, and permanently traumatized. Today, I’m thinking about those women—those we’ve lost and those we’ve harmed. We cannot allow their deaths to be in vain.
Make no mistake: in the many states where they will be illegal, abortions will continue. Now they will also be dangerous, they will be secretive and they will be deadly.
I am here to say: We cannot go back to Ward 41. In Illinois, we WILL NOT go back to Ward 41. And for all the women whose fundamental rights have been taken away today, we stand with you. We will raise our voices, we will open our arms to help you and we will protect your rights.
To the right-wing officeholders who today are cheering the Supreme Court’s ruling: GET YOUR IRON BOOT OFF WOMEN’S NECKS! Hop off your high horse and know that what you’re calling a “celebration of life” today will actually lead to death — the death of women in abusive situations, the death of women whose health is at risk, the death of women and girls who will still seek abortions—ones that are unsafe and performed by unqualified back-alley butchers.
Let me make this explicit and clear to women throughout our state, the Midwest, and our nation: Illinois will be a safe haven for the exercise of your reproductive rights. In Illinois, Roe v. Wade is still the law, and it will remain the law as long as we have a pro-choice legislature and a pro-choice governor. Here, we trust you to make your own decisions about your reproductive health. We will defend your right to bodily autonomy.
In Illinois, we will hold firm to these rights and continue to work with stakeholders – many of whom are standing with me now – to expand them.
To that end, I am informing the General Assembly that I will be calling them into special session in the coming weeks to more firmly protect women’s reproductive rights in Illinois and address the challenges posed by this radical Supreme Court decision. I’m grateful to have the support and partnership of House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch and Senate President Don Harmon in this effort. Together, the Democratic leadership in Illinois is committed to taking swift action to further enshrine our commitment to reproductive healthcare.
I want to close by speaking directly to those who have the most at stake in today’s decision:
To the single mom juggling four kids and three-part time jobs, Illinois will fight for you. To the teenage CHILD, who endured rape or incest, Illinois will fight for you. To the marginalized and most vulnerable, who are being attacked at every turn by transphobic, or misogynistic or bigoted politicians, Illinois will fight for you. We will NOT turn back the clock. Here in the Land of Lincoln and the home state of Barack Obama, where we were the first to ratify women’s suffrage 100 years ago, we will continue the fight for freedom, liberty, and justice for ALL.
Likely on the agenda for the special session will be bills designed to strengthen protections for abortion care, and to provide resources for people traveling to Illinois from states that have banned abortion.
Here’s what the governor said about travelers…
We don’t provide direct subsidies to people coming from other states. We support the women of Illinois with a lot of funding to make sure that they can exercise their rights and their health care. People who come from other states, though, do benefit from the capacity building that we do, from support that we provide to providers. So that they can build their professionals, the number of professionals on staff, and there’s more that we can do. But let me be clear, I mean, we start first and foremost, protecting the people of Illinois and the women of Illinois, and now we are definitely going to see many more people coming to the state even than we saw over the last year. And we need to make sure that we’re ready for that.
…Adding… Center Square…
State Rep. Mark Batinick, R-Plainfield, said he doesn’t see the point of why Pritzker needs to call for a special session because the Supreme Court ruling changes nothing in Illinois.
“In Illinois we have the most extreme pro-abortion laws in the nation,” Batinik said. “A minor child can get an abortion with taxpayer funds without even telling her parents.”
Batinick said Pritzker should instead be focusing on the issues that Illinoisans are more concerned about, such as inflation, gas taxes and corruption.
* Rep. Niemerg…
State Representative Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich) called the official 5-4 decision by the United States Supreme Court a historic decision.
“This is a great day for the pro-life movement,” declared Rep. Adam Niemerg. “But this is now a states rights issue and we have more work to do in Illinois.”
“The Governor has called for a special session of the General Assembly to take up more legislation to appease pro-choice activists. Instead of looking for ways to expand abortion the Governor should focus on services to help expecting mothers before and after pregnancy. We need to give mothers options, not limitations.”
State Sen. Steve McClure, R-Springfield, said Pritzker was using the special session as “a campaign tactic in the general election to scare voters. It’s very disturbing.”
With gas at $5 a gallon and with the threats of rolling blackouts from utilities across the state, Rep. Tim Butler, R-Springfield said Pritzker’s call for a special session was “ridiculous.”
“Illinois is now an abortion haven with the laws the governor has passed and now he wants to do more,” said Butler, who is pro-life. “It speaks volumes about where his priorities are.”