Advocates for and against abortion speaks on abortion rights

Local News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — The future of reproductive rights in the United States may soon be significantly altered, but what does that mean here in Illinois?

When Judge Amy Coney Barrett was confirmed to the United States Supreme Court earlier this week it gave conservatives a stronger majority. Many believe this could eventually either overturn or weaken the 1973 abortion rights law.

The United States Supreme Court is now made up of six conservative and three liberal judges. Protestors on both sides of the abortion issue protested outside planned parenthood in Peoria Wednesday.

Kristen Meierkord, an abortion-rights advocate, said she fears what would happen if Roe v. Wade is reversed.

“If we end up with possibly losing Roe v. Wade if that gets put into place, it’s going to be so dangerous for women,” Meierkord said. “Women will not be able to get access to the care that they need.”

If the law is overturned It wouldn’t immediately ban abortion in all states. It would let the state make the decision. In Illinois, the general assembly passed the reproductive health care act in 2017 guaranteeing women’s rights to make their own decisions regarding pregnancy.

Pro-life advocate Michael Leahy says a woman should not have the right to make decisions for another life.

“A baby is a baby is a baby. A life is a life is a life and no circumstance changes that,” Leahy said.

The argument of if abortion is freedom of choice has been debated for more than 50 years, but Michelle Marcinak with the pro-life religious group “Forty Days for Life” says even freedom has limits.

“My body my choice. I would say that we all have freedom of choice so my freedom to punch ends where your nose begins. I don’t have the freedom to do anything I want to in society. That’s a myth. My freedom doesn’t extend to another person’s body,” Marcinak said.

Abortion may not always be legal in Illinois. It is possible a future legislature could reverse that right if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

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