* The governor participated in a virtual White House event with the POTUS today. From the governor’s office…
This was the gist of what Gov. Pritzker said on the call today:
I propose that you immediately form a reproductive healthcare strike force – pulling together the best experts, federal leaders, and the states on the frontline of this fight to find every single federal rule and regulation that can enhance our ability to provide reproductive health care. Eliminate the rules that are creating barriers and create new rules that expand access. Make sure the FTC takes a hard look at whether our existing privacy regulations are sufficient to protect individuals looking for abortion care.
That’s action we can take without Congress, without the Courts – right now – and save lives.
I believe there are four essential issues that need immediate focus.
ONE. Right off the bat, we can find a way for the federal government to support doctors in EVERY state providing telehealth and mail prescriptions to patients, as well as making facilities on federal land in EVERY state available for clinicians to practice.
TWO. Those mail prescriptions are going out through the United States Postal Service, not the postal service of Alabama or Missouri. So we need to get out in front of any attempts to criminalize use of the federal postal system to deliver medication, because they will try.
THREE. We also need a centralized hub connecting patients and providers across state lines. I’m getting calls from providers up and down Illinois who are getting double and triple booked by scared patients who are grabbing every appointment they can because they’re afraid of losing all of them. There needs to be an ultra-secure navigator system for providers to communicate with each other and with patients about their options. We don’t want any appointments going to waste.
FOUR. Most importantly of all: we need federal dollars. Illinois is going to have half the country relying on us to provide abortions and reproductive health care. We fund abortions with our Medicaid dollars. But our state funds alone can’t support the demand. We need the federal government to pay for clinic upkeep, medical transport, and other associated billable items up until the abortion itself. And the federal government can provide the state with additional funding elsewhere to support our Medicaid needs.
This is a crisis and we need to treat it like one. That means acting urgently as a collective in the way this moment demands. We need to put more decision makers in a room and figure out creative ways to get to yes. I’m asking that as soon as this call ends, we work with our teams to get a concrete meeting for the coalition on the calendar. Illinois is happy to convene federal and state leaders, but I’ll go wherever it takes to get this done.
Statement from Jordan Abudayyeh…
Governor Pritzker is gratified that President Biden embraced his suggestions, particularly moving forward with a concrete strike force that includes Democratic governors and federal leaders to protect access to safe, legal abortion and reproductive care.
In the pre-reversal world, multiple clinics opened up near [Illinois] state boundary lines of access, including near St. Louis. The Illinois Department of Public Health reports nearly 10,000 patients crossed state lines to have an abortion in Illinois in 2020 — that was 29% more patients traveling than in 2019.
Meanwhile, in states like Iowa, where it’s likely a revival of the six-week ban will take effect, access to abortion in adjacent Illinois has been virtually impossible, with four Quad Cities clinics having closed in the past five years and none at all sitting on the state’s border.
A run on state resources is inevitable.
“The state of Illinois is among a handful of U.S. states that continues to affirm the right to safe and accessible reproductive healthcare. Indeed, the state has seen growing numbers of persons coming from outside the state in recent years,” said Natalie Bennett, director of the Women’s Leadership and Resource Center at University of Illinois-Chicago. “Those numbers will continue to increase.”
Twenty-two percent of U.S. adults name abortion or women’s rights in an open-ended question as one of up to five problems they want the government to work on, according to the poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. That’s more than doubled since December, when an AP-NORC poll found a notable uptick in mentions of abortion from years before, likely in anticipation of the Dobbs ruling on abortion.
The new poll, which included interviews conducted before and after the Supreme Court’s ruling, finds prioritization of the issues grew sharply following the decision. […]
And the new poll finds mentions of women’s rights are almost exclusively by those who think abortion should be legal.
According to the poll, the percentage of women prioritizing abortion or women’s rights was already higher in interviews conducted before the ruling than six months ago, 21% vs. 9% in December; it swelled to 37% in the days after. Mentions grew sharply among men, too, but the growth was concentrated in the wake of the ruling, from 6% in interviews conducted before to 21% after.
* March for Life Chicago…
As reports show Illinois’ economy is lagging behind the rest of the Midwest and the state’s drivers pay an average of $5.40 per gallon at the pump – radical abortion promoters Governor J.B Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot are pledging hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to abort babies from across state lines. March for Life Chicago believes that every Midwesterner should be outraged.
“The majority of Americans do not support taxpayer funding for abortion,” stated Anna Kinskey, Associate Director of the March for Life Chicago. “Yet, in the wake of the United States Supreme Court decision to uphold a state’s right to restrict abortion, Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot continue to ignore the people they represent to push their extreme abortion agenda at taxpayer expense.”
Pritzker was quoted by the Chicago Tribune as touting abortion as “another arrow in our quiver” to recruit businesses to Illinois and Pritzker has called for a special legislative session on reproductive health, during which it has been suggested that he will try to extend taxpayer funding of abortion to include out-of-state residents.
Following the Supreme Court’s June 24 decision in Dobbs v. Jackson, Lightfoot pledged $500,000 of taxpayer money to abortion funds, including money to provide transportation and housing for women seeking out of state abortions in Chicago.
As the governor and mayor work to increase taxpayer funding of abortion, March for Life Chicago calls upon the people of the Midwest to rise up and speak out for the protection of women and children.
“Over 54 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion,” detailed Kinskey, presenting numbers from a January 2022 Marist Poll of Americans’ Opinions on Abortion. “Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot are exasperated following the Supreme Court’s finding that the United States Constitution does not include a ‘right to abortion,’ and they’re using taxpayer funding to push their extreme abortion agenda.”
“Taxes are intended to maintain public infrastructure, including the roads we travel on, and fund public schools, emergency services, and food stamp programs,” explained Kinskey. “Illinois can’t pay all of its bills, but the governor and the mayor of its largest city want to invite women from out of state to come to Illinois to abort their babies – at our expense. Every taxpaying Illinoisan should be outraged.”
“Illinois permits late-term abortions on demand for any reason at taxpayer expense,” Kinskey continued. “Already, abortion clinics in Wisconsin are sending women to Illinois for abortions. This trend will increase as our neighboring states move to protect preborn life.”
March for Life Chicago is calling upon Illinois’ governor and Chicago’s mayor to quit forcing taxpayers to pay for abortion on demand – even on minor girls.
“Pritzker and Lightfoot are out of step with middle America. It’s time for Illinois to join the vast majority of the Midwest and return the right to life to preborn children and protect these most vulnerable members of the human family,” Kinskey added.
“And it’s not about choosing babies over women,” assured Kinskey. “The pro-life movement supports both mother and child. That’s why there are over 95 pregnancy resource centers right here in Illinois, meeting the needs of mothers and families, before and after birth. Women can easily find free pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, prenatal care, diapers, cribs, parenting classes, and more. No woman should face an unexpected pregnancy alone, and if Governor Pritzker and Mayor Lightfoot truly cared about vulnerable women they would follow in the footsteps of states like Texas, and fund life affirming care for women and children.”
* Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul on Abortion Rights, New Firearm Tracing Database
* Abortion is now illegal in some states neighboring Illinois
* Stories from women who chose to end a pregnancy: We also hear from [Becky Carroll] who’s been an abortion rights advocate since she was a teenager and how she navigated her own experience of getting an abortion.