The impending Supreme Court decision that will overturn Roe v. Wade isn’t a surprise. Centrist and right-wing Republicans have spent decades and billions of dollars actively working to subjugate women through forced-birth measures.
The extremist Republican Supreme Court is acting with complete disregard for the majority of the U.S. population who support safe, legal abortion access. Gallup polls in May 2021 show Americans’ support for abortion in all or most cases at 80 percent. A CNN/SSR poll from January 2022 reports that 69 percent of Americans do not want Roe overturned.
Without Roe v. Wade, 26 states are certain or likely to ban abortion, with many bans triggered as soon as Roe falls. Denying reproductive healthcare will put millions of pregnant people at risk, particularly low-income, rural residents and people of color. This opinion relegates people who can get pregnant to second-class citizenship, unable to decide how they want to live their lives.
It’s a heavy blow that we feel individually and collectively. It’s compounded by the fact that the rationale used in the decision – that any right not explicitly outlined in the U.S. Constitution must be deeply rooted in American history and tradition – threatens to roll back other rights most Americans support. With this rationale the right to privacy, equality and protections for people of color, marriage equality, and access to contraception are also at risk.
We must remember that abortion is still legal today, but that right is fragile and we should do what we can to fight for that right. We need to keep Illinois a safe haven for women seeking access to vital reproductive healthcare.
Here are specific ways we can act today:
Contact your state representatives and state senators today and tell them to pass a law to protect Illinois clinicians who provide abortion services to people from other states, like the one Connecticut passed and signed into law this week. Illinois must remain a safe haven for care, especially since we are surrounded by restricted Midwestern states.
Participate in the Chicago “Bans Off Our Bodies Rally” Saturday, May 14.
Donate to provider organizations and regional abortion funds listed here.
Keep an eye on the Illinois Supreme Court race. There are three open seats and Republicans have an eye on a conservative takeover. If they succeed, the court can strike down all the strong protections enacted to keep abortion rights strong in Illinois.
Individually and together, we must fight for reproductive justice, the individual right to choose when to have a family, and we must protect women from a minority of conservative lawmakers and judges ignoring the will of most Americans. We must act, and fight to keep the equity our country stands for.
Lisa Janunas, Lindsay Morrison, Josie Polanek, Kendra Curry-Khanna
Co-leaders of Indivisible West Suburban Action League