There’s not a whole lot a small non-home rule municipality like Riverside can do when it comes to ensuring protection of reproductive healthcare for women. But one thing it can do is set an example.
That’s what Riverside trustees did last week when they voted 5-0 to pass a resolution calling on state legislators to bolster protections for women seeking abortions and healthcare agencies and workers who provide them.
Beyond ensuring the right to an abortion is protected by Illinois law, Riverside leaders want state officials to ensure women who seek abortions in Illinois – an island surrounded by Republican-dominated state legislatures that want to turn back the clock and erase women’s rights to control their own bodies – are also protected from out-of-state criminal investigations.
It’s incredible that so many state elected officials across the nation relish the chance to criminalize a woman’s autonomy when it comes to reproductive healthcare. But there has been a distinct backlash against this obvious overreach.
Riverside’s resolution is a small part of that backlash, but an example local leaders hope will gain traction as the resolution is circulated among Illinois state legislators representing the village and other member municipalities of the West Central Municipal Council.
We would urge Brookfield and North Riverside officials to consider adopting similar resolutions and send the clear signal to women and girls living those communities that their right to make their own decisions regarding their healthcare have the support of their neighbors.
Riverside’s action last week might be largely symbolic, but symbols can have power. Here’s hoping the resolution has its intended impact and spurs state legislators to convene that special session promised by the governor in June to protect the rights of women.
Dare we hope?
There’s going to be a bridge, there’s no doubt about it. Just when we’ll all be able to use it is still an open question.
But as the first of what will be many concrete mixers rolled up to the Brookfield Avenue bridge jobsite on Aug. 8, it again seemed like this thing may actually get finished before winter sets in.
Now it’s really a race against time and temperature.
Since getting started about 15 months ago in spring 2021 — seems longer, doesn’t it? — the project has undergone repeated delays that have added up, cumulatively, to about eight months.
Getting the concrete poured before temperatures settle in below 20 degrees is vital now.
While we’ve learned that there are no promises when it comes to the timetable of this project, it can’t be halted again, can it? We sure hope not.