(WMBD) — Local leaders are speaking out after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade case, effectively ending constitutional protections for abortion.
U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL)
“I am outraged and horrified—this outcome is a nightmare that robs women of their right to make their own choices about their healthcare and their bodies, and it paves the way for a nationwide abortion ban that Republicans have been seeking for decades. Millions of American families—including my own—have relied on Roe v. Wade for almost 50 years, and 70% of Americans believe it should remain the law of the land. The Supreme Court of the United States and the Justices who claimed Roe was ‘settled law,’ but then turned around and ruled otherwise, will—as Justice Sotomayor said—’struggle to survive the stench’ of this extreme decision.
“In a nation with a growing maternal mortality crisis and often inaccessible healthcare, without affordable child care or universal paid leave, forcing births on anyone—even when the mother’s life could be at risk—is not only cruel, it will also be deadly. Doctors working in states where abortion, or even management of a miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy, is outlawed could even be threatened with prison for daring to save a patient’s life. Victims of rape could be forced to relive their trauma every day.
“I refuse to let my daughters grow up in a world with fewer rights than I had. As Republicans continue their march toward a nationwide abortion ban, I will do everything in my power to ensure that Illinois remains a safe haven for all women seeking reproductive care. It is as important as ever that the Senate acts to codify Roe v. Wade into law so that every American in every state has equal access to basic, necessary healthcare—regardless of their skin color, zip code or income.”
U.S. Rep Cheri Bustos (D-IL)
“As a mother, a grandmother and a Catholic, I am gutted by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. Make no mistake – this ruling will cost lives and livelihoods, and its impact will be felt for generations to come.
“The U.S. Supreme Court does not belong in our doctors’ offices, and this attack on personal freedom is a radical departure from what has been accepted as the ‘law of the land’ for half a century.
“In one fell swoop, six justices stripped away the rights of millions of Americans: Survivors of rape and incest are in danger; our medical privacy and autonomy are in jeopardy; and the Supreme Court has just legalized government-mandated pregnancies.
“I fear for the other fundamental rights these justices could take away from us, and for the repercussions that will follow in the future. This is a tragic day for freedom in America.”
Illinois Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton
“I am angry but unafraid. Today, and every day, I will continue fighting for a woman’s right to bodily autonomy. I am disappointed but determined. Although we have known for weeks that our right to bodily autonomy can be a matter of debate, and can be taken away with a single decision, we cannot avoid the deep ache caused by this ruling. It is a dark day for our country.
“I ache for the women across the nation who fear for what comes next. I ache for my daughters, who are losing a constitutional right that was afforded to their mother. I ache for the lives—the lives of BIPOC women, in particular—that this decision has put at risk.
“The road ahead is hard and treacherous, but raising our voices is now more important than ever. Those who want to restrict our freedoms and strip away our rights may call today a victory, but tomorrow and every day we will be at the frontlines to push back.
“To everyone affected by the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe V. Wade, you are not alone in the journey ahead. We stand with the activists, organizers, and community members across the country in the fight for bodily autonomy, and we will continue to ensure that Illinois will always be a bulwark in that fight.”
Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza
“Women’s reproductive rights today were stripped and shaken to the core. This is a ruling of seismic proportions. Women today will have fewer rights to reproductive healthcare decisions than their grandmothers did. Women across the country will still need access to this crucial healthcare service. Women will be less safe. For those who can make it to our state, Illinois will be there for them. Now more than ever, we must continue to strengthen laws that protect women’s rights to reproductive healthcare access in Illinois.”
State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth (D-Peoria)
“Today’s Supreme Court decision was a shocking, life-changing moment for millions of women in our country. An irresponsible and dangerous Supreme Court has rolled back fundamental protections, and is the greatest attack on individual rights we have seen in generations. Women deserve and should always have the right to make their own personal health decisions, regardless of what this irredeemable and out-of-touch Supreme Court has chosen to do.
“While I am thankful that we took decisive action in Illinois to preserve a woman’s right to choose – despite this awful ruling – I am heartbroken thinking about the millions of women in other states who have had their lives irrevocably upturned. We have to fight back against this reckless decision, and we must do all that we can to strengthen protections here in Illinois. Lives depend on it.”
U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL)
“Today’s decision eliminates a federally protected constitutional right that has been the law for nearly half a century. As a result, millions of Americans are waking up in a country where they have fewer rights than their parents and grandparents.”
“The bottom line: on critical, personal choices involving a woman’s right to make reproductive decisions about her own body, do you trust her or the government? The Supreme Court now says a woman’s right to privacy does not extend to the most personal, private choice she will ever face.”
“The Senate Judiciary Committee will explore the grim reality of a post-Roe America in a hearing next month. The Court’s decision to erase the right to access an abortion will not only lead to the denial of critical health care services, but also criminal consequences for women and health care providers in states eager to embrace draconian restrictions. I will keep fighting to enshrine into law a woman’s right to make her own reproductive choices. We cannot let our children inherit a nation that is less free and more dangerous than the one their parents grew up in.”
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL)
“This is a historic and incredible day for Life and the unborn in America, a day that all of us in the pro-life movement have been praying for and working towards. The Supreme Court was absolutely right to overturn previous, wrongly-decided abortion decisions. Nothing in the Constitution confers the right to an abortion. As a pro-life lawmaker with a 100 percent pro-life voting record, I have advocated for years that the Court overturn Roe.
“Now that the Supreme Court has turned this issue over to the people’s elected representatives, our pro-life work continues. We must elect pro-life leaders at the federal, state, and local levels to ensure we advance pro-life policies and protect the unborn. Nowhere is this more important than the State of Illinois, where J.B. Pritzker and Democrats in Springfield have advanced an extreme abortion expansion agenda that legalized taxpayer-funded, late-term abortions, and even restricted parents’ abilities to know if their minor child is seeking an abortion. This is an extreme abortion agenda that is out-of-step with the people of Illinois. I will continue to work tirelessly to advance pro-life policies and protect the unborn in Washington and in Springfield.”
U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-IL)
“As a father of three and a Pro-Life advocate, I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dobbs case, returning the question of abortion to the states and to the people. In Congress, I stood proudly with the growing Pro-Life movement to advocate for the Supreme Court to reconsider Roe v. Wade, and this decision is a huge victory for the sanctity of life.
“Democrats in Washington and Illinois, including President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, and Governor Pritzker have spent years seeking to undermine and delegitimize our independent judiciary. In the weeks since the unprecedented leak of Justice Alito’s opinion, we have seen attacks on pro-family crisis pregnancy centers, disruptions of church services, and an assassination attempt on Justice Kavanaugh and his family. The Dobbs decision, in the face of violence, is a win for our independent judiciary and the Constitution.
“Governor Pritzker continues to push his radical abortion agenda in Illinois, which includes late-term and taxpayer-funded abortion, restrictions on conscience protections, and limits on parental involvement. The Governor’s policies are widely outside the mainstream. I will continue to lend a voice to the voiceless and push to enact Pro-Life protections that uphold the sanctity of life and support mothers and families.”
Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker
“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.”
Illinois Senate President Don Harmon (D-Oak Park)
“Today’s ruling is a distressing departure from five decades of precedent and a devastating blow to women around the country.
This decision turns the clock back to a time when women did not have autonomy over their own bodies and died trying to access health care.
Over the past few years, we took many steps in Illinois to affirm a woman’s right to make decisions about her own body.
As long as there is a Democratic majority in the Illinois State Senate, we will continue to protect those rights.”
Speaker of the State House of Representatives Emanuel “Chris” Welch (D-Hillside)
“Today is a dark day in our nation’s history. Today, this Supreme Court told half of Americans they don’t have the right to make deeply personal health decisions without government interference. Today, half of Americans are losing their basic human rights and bodily autonomy.
I’m grateful that in Illinois we’ve prepared for this day. Thanks to strong women and fierce advocates we have codified reproductive health care into law, and we will always trust women to make their own health decisions.
Today our nation is taking an enormous step backward but, regardless of what any conservative judges say, in Illinois we will never waver in our fight to ensure every person has the right to safe, accessible reproductive care.”
Illinois Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods)
“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.”
State Sen. Win Stoller (R-Germantown Hills)
“As a strong supporter of life, today’s decision handed down by the United States Supreme Court is welcome news for those who seek to protect the most vulnerable among us.
“That being said, this decision will unfortunately have no impact on the state of Illinois and our extreme abortion laws. It will not affect any of the wildly unpopular laws that the Majority Party have passed, which includes late-term abortions for any reason and allowing minors of any age to undergo surgical procedures without their parents ever knowing. “In reality, this court decision will only be used by our Governor and his allies as a means to justify and push for even more aggressive and unpopular abortions laws.”
Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs
“Five people I never met decided they will make health decision for my school-aged daughter, not me,” Frerichs said.
“Years from now, when my daughter is an adult, she will not be able to decide what happens with her body because five people she never met determined they know best,” Frerichs said.
“Today, the doctors and nurses and friends who participate in a woman’s decision could face criminal charges for doing nothing more than delivering their professional opinion, providing their expert care, and offering a supportive role,” Frerichs said.
“As the father of a teenage daughter, I am furious with the hypocritical politicians who seek to control her body and have decided that she, and every other woman in my life, and in our country, are incapable of making decisions about their own body.”
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul
“I am extremely disappointed with today’s Supreme Court decision, which jeopardizes the health, the safety and the lives of millions of women in the United States – especially those who already have the least access to health care and other resources. This single decision rolls back 50 years of court precedent and with it, decades of progress toward reproductive autonomy. Contrary to the rhetoric used by some, make no mistake: This decision will not end abortion. What it will do is end access to safe abortions for many women throughout the country.
“In anticipation of the court’s decision, dozens of states have taken draconian steps to restrict access to or criminalize abortion. While some women living in those states could decide to seek legal abortions in other states like Illinois, the option of traveling great distances for potentially lifesaving abortion care may not be available to low-income women or victims of abuse. By revoking a woman’s right to reproductive choice, the court now leaves too many women faced with making unimaginable decisions.
“As I assured Vice President Kamala Harris yesterday at a White House roundtable on reproductive health, Illinois has been and will continue to be a proud reproductive health care oasis where women have the right to make their own highly-personal reproductive health decisions with their families and medical professionals. In light of today’s decision, I encourage people to review guidance my office issued to ensure reproductive rights are protected in Illinois, and I am reminding law enforcement that abortion is legal in Illinois – regardless of today’s decision.
“As we prepare for an influx of women from neighboring states to seek abortion services in Illinois, my office is actively working with the governor’s office and Legislature to address concerns triggered by the court’s decision. Specifically, we must expand safeguards under state law to ensure that women and providers are protected from those who would use this decision to obstruct access to abortion care.
“Today is a sad day in the history of the Supreme Court and our nation. However, this wrong-sided decision does nothing to alter my commitment to enforcing the reproductive health protections already enshrined in Illinois law, working with Illinois policymakers to expand protections under state law, and continuing to urge Congress to codify reproductive health care rights in federal law.”
McLean County Democratic Party
“An increasingly partisan U.S. Supreme Court, designed to carry out the conservative minority’s
bidding, overturned the rights of women all across the country today. The decision to reject
established case law in Roe v. Wade is about removing our power to control our own bodies,
our lives, and personal medical decisions —and handing it to politicians.
“As Republicans push to make abortion illegal in states across the country, we must re-elect
Gov. JB Pritzker, Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Attorney General Kwame Raoul, our supermajorities
in the General Assembly, and our majority on the state supreme court as the last line of defense
for Illinoisans’ reproductive rights.
“We must not take that for granted!
“It is more important than ever to elect those Democrats who value the rights of women and will
fight to protect those rights. Every Republican candidate for governor in Illinois has pledged to
remove protections for a women’s right to choose if elected. They would have the support of
all local Republicans if elected this fall.
“Stand up today. Trust women. Support their rights. VOTE!! Elect Democrats.”
Dan Montgomery, Illinois Federation of Teachers president
“As a union composed of more than 70 percent female members, we strongly condemn this radical decision and are deeply concerned about its implications for women and pregnant people.
“In this country, all women and pregnant people must be free to make their own decisions about their bodies. It is a fundamental right. Today’s decision will harm all, but there is no doubt that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), Latinx, and the economically disadvantaged – already marginalized groups – will suffer most. We cannot allow this radical conservative legal effort to erode all Americans’ rights and further marginalize society’s most vulnerable. And we will not go back to a time when abortions led to deaths for too many women.
“For many years, our elected IFT convention delegates have passed strong resolutions supporting reproductive and abortion rights. The IFT will continue to work in Illinois to ensure that women and pregnant people have the power to make their own healthcare decisions. We are thankful for Governor Pritzker’s staunch advocacy on this issue; we know he believes, as we do, that reproductive rights are human rights and should be an individual’s choice.”
Bishop Louis Tylka, Catholic Diocese of Peoria
“Today, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its decision in the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case. This ruling has a significant impact on the issue of abortion, which was legalized in the Roe v. Wade decision some fifty years ago. Today’s decision overturns what was previously a federal legalization of abortion and has returned the issue to individual states to decide the matter for themselves. Clearly, there is much more work to be done.”
“Life is a gift from God. From the very beginning, the Church has clearly proclaimed the sanctity of human life – from conception until natural death. As Catholics and as Americans, we must continue to be a voice that defends life – in all its stages and from all its threats – so that we can truly build a culture of life in our country and in the world. As the Bishop of Peoria, I call upon all people of goodwill to support the efforts that uphold the dignity of human life, especially those efforts that offer material, emotional, and spiritual support to families and to women with unplanned pregnancies, as well as the efforts to offer ongoing support and care for children.”
“Today’s decision is not the last word in this matter. It is, however, a significant moment in the efforts to work toward a greater respect for life and it is a reason to give thanks to God. May the Holy Spirit instill in all of us an ever-greater respect for the sanctity of every human life, especially the lives of unborn children.”