The U.S. Supreme Court today overturned the 1973 decision of Roe v. Wade that generally protected a pregnant woman’s liberty to choose to have an abortion. Previously, the Supreme Court upheld the decision in 1992 in the case Planned Parenthood v. Casey. In the final decision of another case brought from a challenge in the State of Mississippi called Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, in a 6-3 decision today the court held that the Constitution does not confer a right to an abortion: “The Constitution does not confer a right to abortion; Roe and Casey are overruled; and the authority to regulate abortion is returned to the people and their elected representatives.”
Reactions have been swift across the country and in the State of Illinois.
SEIU Healthcare Illinois Executive Vice President Erica Bland-Durosinmi in response to the SCOTUS ruling to overturn the historic Roe vs. Wade decision: “Today, the United States Supreme Court voted to overturn the landmark Roe vs. Wade decision. This ruling will rescind 50 years of federal constitutional protection of abortion rights for women across this country. As advocates of civil liberties, we are appalled by what is undoubtedly one of the most flagrant abuses of civil rights against women in our country’s history.
As a union that fights to protect the healthcare standards for over 90,000 frontline workers, the majority being Black and brown women, we will continue to speak out against this classist and sexist injustice that disproportionately affects low-income women of color.
There is evidence that our democracy continues to be under attack when 69% of voters in 2020 polled that they wanted Roe vs. Wade to remain as ruled. Americans have made it clear that abortion is healthcare, and that Roe vs. Wade saves lives. Unfortunately, the voice of the people is disregarded.
History has shown us that when access to safe and legal abortions is denied, women will suffer. Women who have limited financial resources and are unable to travel when faced with an unplanned pregnancy will be forced to endure extreme medical hardships that often lead to death.
This ruling will not result in our silence. Our members will continue to speak out as healthcare providers to demand that our legislators pass laws to protect women’s reproductive rights. We stand firm in combating this attack on women’s civil rights as well as in fighting to secure the safety and well-being of generations to come.”
Illinois House Speaker Emmanuel “Chris” Welch released the following: “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 Senator Dick Durbin released the following: “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.”
Illinois Senator Tammy Duckworth released the following: “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 theirtrauma 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.”
18th District Congressman Darin LaHood released the following: “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.”
13th District Congressman Rodney Davis issued the following statement: “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.”
Governor J.B. Pritzker released the following statement announcing that he is calling a special session of the Illinois General Assembly saying he wishes to further enshrine reproductive health rights in the state’s laws: “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.”
Bishop Thomas Paprocki of the Diocese of Springfield issued the following response: “Today’s decision by the Supreme Court of the United States marks an important moment for our nation, lifting a cloud that has hung over our country for nearly a half century. There is no way to undo the tragedy of tens of millions of innocent lives lost or the decades of division sown by the Roe v. Wade decision. But, for the sake of future generations, we can now move forward with a more honest debate and efforts to advance policies and support programs that protect innocent life and promote stability and security for vulnerable mothers. Much work remains to be done on both fronts, and that work will now necessarily have more of a local focus, particularly in our own home state of Illinois. Importantly, these efforts must include prayer and concerted efforts to preserve peace in the face of recent violence, intimidation, and criminal vandalism against churches and government officials.”
Welch and Harmon have said they are currently working on the logistics of that special session’s scheduling at the current time. A televised and broadcast announcement is expected at 10:30AM today in Chicago.