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Pritzker pushes abortion rights despite lack of special session

Wednesday, Aug 31, 2022 - Posted by Isabel Miller

* Background is here if you need it. Sun Times

Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday vowed that “anti-choice” politicians will lose in November, as he stood surrounded by Planned Parenthood leaders who are still awaiting legislative fixes — and funds — to help handle an influx of patients coming to Illinois to seek abortion care services. […]

But the event also highlighted that the pledge Pritzker made on June 24 to call the Illinois General Assembly back into session in Springfield to “further enshrine” reproductive rights remains unfulfilled. Similarly, Pritzker voiced support for an assault weapons ban after the Highland Park massacre. But is likely to find it difficult to drum up enough support in an election year. […]

Those discussions involve legislation to protect medical providers from legal, criminal and civil liability, expand the capacity of providers who can provide abortions and measures to protect and grow clinics, Pritzker said. […]

[Yamelsie Rodriguez, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis region and Southwest Missouri] said wait times went from three to four days to two and a half weeks. She said Illinois has seen a 76% increase in abortions after 14 weeks of gestation. […]

“Is this going to be sustainable over time, when we’re thinking $900 to $1,500 just to provide practical support for transportation and accommodation? No,” Rodriguez said. “And we made that very clear to Gov. Pritzker why this is an imperative, and we will continue to work with him to ensure that we have a sustainable platform here.”

* Pritzker acknowledged that in order for any measures to take immediate effect, he’ll need support from the legislature’s Democratic supermajorities. After Jan. 1, only a simple majority would be required…


Legislators are hard at work, now, I think you know, in working groups, in fact working with Planned Parenthood and many other pro-choice organizations to make sure that they can craft the legislation that we need. You heard about the need to protect from legal liability, criminal and civil liability that other states want to bring against people in Illinois, against their own people who come to Illinois. Those are parts of what needs to be addressed by the legislature. Then there’s the expansion of capacity, allowing nurse practitioners to perform procedures to make sure that we’re protecting and growing the existing capacity of the clinics that are here and then attracting other clinics to come to Illinois. Those are all things that are being considered by the working groups in the legislature. […]

Well, I think you know that there are two things that you have to consider one is there is a legislature, the legislature has to do its work and he is hard at work. Second, that as you know when Special Session when things need to be passed with a supermajority. That’s harder than doing it with a simple majority. So there’s some things that can be done could be done with a supermajority, some things that take a simple majority. So again, the legislature is working through all those things.

* The Center Square

Pritzker said his executive authority only goes so far.

“There are things that you can’t do as an executive order. There are things that the legislature really does need to do, we need it enshrined into law,” Pritzker said. “So, again, those things are all being worked out. We’re talking with the legislature, working with the attorney general’s office.”

Illinois Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorn Woods, said the hold up may be that Democrats are gauging public sentiment.

“I think it’s because the Democrats understand that what they want to do is go even farther on abortion, even more extreme than any other state in the country,” McConchie told The Center Square earlier this month. “I think they recognize we already have some of the most extreme abortion laws in the country. Going further might actually alienate voters this fall.”

* Tribune

Welch has tapped nine House Democrats to work with advocates on legislative proposals, but those negotiations are taking place behind closed doors. State Rep. Kelly Cassidy of Chicago, an outspoken proponent of abortion rights who was assigned to lead the group, did not respond Tuesday to a request for comment on its progress.

Senate Democrats have not announced a formal negotiating team, but Harmon spokesman John Patterson said, “There are ongoing internal discussions.”

Pritzker spoke to reporters Tuesday after meeting privately with the heads of the Illinois and St. Louis regional chapters of Planned Parenthood, along with Alexis McGill Johnson, president and CEO of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

The Planned Parenthood leaders all praised Pritzker for his support of abortion access and argued for the importance of the Nov. 8 election in determining the future of reproductive health care in Illinois and across the country.


  1. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 10:18 am:

    I love Women…those who seek to control Women’s bodies do not.

  2. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 10:51 am:

    I think they should’ve done a non-binding referendum on the topic. I get that Madigan used these non-binding referendums cynically in the past, but Madigan is gone now. The results would be real evidence of how the voters view the issue and difficult for people to ignore.

  3. - Steve Polite - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 10:51 am:

    “legal liability, criminal and civil liability that other states want to bring against people in Illinois, against their own people who come to Illinois.“

    Would someone explain to me how, as a resident of one state, I could be criminally liable for a legal act performed in another state? I wonder if this could have greater consequences beyond abortion where other actions are legal in one state but not others.

  4. - Amalia - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 11:07 am:

    this is an up and down the ballot issue and talk will get more contentious as the general approaches. but by the numbers this is not a both sides issue. poll after poll shows large public support for availability of abortion services early in pregnancy.

  5. - Donnie Elgin - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 11:16 am:

    JB is classically overplaying the abortion card. Illinois already has a very friendly environment for abortion providers. Increasing the reimbursement for the “the procedure” as he called it and encouraging capacity building for residents of other states to come here is a bit much. It appeals to voters who are already staunchly in his camp. He best remember that abortion views are very nuanced and polling shows that.

  6. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 11:18 am:

    ===He best remember that abortion views are very nuanced and polling shows that. ===

    Voters don’t do nuance.

  7. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 11:24 am:

    ===JB is classically overplaying the abortion card===

    Then why the lack of pushback by pro-life folks?

    Think on that.

    If it’s such an overplay, why is even Kathy Salvi… Kathy Salvi… now trying to soften a decades long history of pro-life.

    I think you have a want, not a reality.

  8. - MisterJayEm - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 11:32 am:

    “He best remember that abortion views are very nuanced and polling shows that.”

    Polls can ask about nuance. Ballots never do.

    – MrJM

  9. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 11:57 am:

    ==JB is classically overplaying the abortion card.==

    Probably not. Obviously his polls are plenty healthy right now, and all the evidence we have indicates that there was a real shift in the wake of the Dobbs decision, and it ain’t the pro-choicers who are struggling to keep up.

  10. - Dotnonymous - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 12:03 pm:

    Rich Miller’s headstone might read, “Voters don’t do nuance”….Mine?…my dear Wife suggested, “Still won’t listen”.

  11. - Six Degrees of Separation - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 12:14 pm:

    ===Polls can ask about nuance. Ballots never do.===

    On abortion, the body politic has one foot planted in a bucket of ice, the other in boiling water, and a policy that over the years has averaged the two. It was uncomfortable but it worked as close to consensus as such a hot-button issue can be. I anticipate the mechanics of Roe will be replicated by other means over time.

  12. - J. Arden Witcomb - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 12:17 pm:

    I think voters did nuance in Kansas on abortion.
    McConchie is correct. The abortion rights activist that drive Democrats policy and message on this will always be more aggressive than independent voters and pro-choice libertarians. Pritzker pumping the breaks before the election.

  13. - Politix - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 12:27 pm:

    ==JB is classically overplaying the abortion card.==

    Protecting access to women’s health care isn’t something that can be overplayed.

  14. - Arsenal - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 12:33 pm:

    ==I think voters did nuance in Kansas on abortion.==

    Not really. It was a straight up yes or no question.

  15. - Pundent - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 12:34 pm:

    =JB is classically overplaying the abortion card.=

    Is it the abortion card or the choice card. Because I’ve yet to see a “pro abortion” candidate. But I’ve seen plenty who believe that a woman’s right to choose is just that. And the thing about choice is that it’s not a nuanced thing. You either have the ability to make choices or you don’t.

  16. - Three Dimensional Checkers - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 12:35 pm:

    ===I think voters did nuance in Kansas on abortion.===

    Yeah, I agree. You might find more people downstate are pro-choice than you would otherwise expect with a referendum.

  17. - SWSider - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 12:50 pm:

    Heaven forbid the undisputed leader of the party put Dem legislators in the unfortunate position of having to do what’s right in an election year to help protect vulnerable women.

    It’s his party. Choosing to wait when lots of women don’t have that luxury is disappointing.

  18. - Jerry - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 1:17 pm:

    What’s next, The Fugitive Uterus Act?

  19. - Impervious - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 2:16 pm:

    On the matter of Illinoisans paying for out of state citizens procedures; nuance will carry the day - meaning, there will not be 60 plus votes for that concept. Not in December, not in February, not ever.

    Being pro-choice is one thing. Paying for the procedure for out of starters is a different discussion altogether.

  20. - Politix - Wednesday, Aug 31, 22 @ 3:11 pm:

    ==Being pro-choice is one thing.==

    Ask Z how that logic worked out for him.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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