Illinois’ most powerful politicians are speaking out after a report was published saying the U.S. Supreme Court intends to strike down Roe v. Wade, a landmark case that guaranteed abortion rights nearly 50 years ago.
POLITICO reported Monday that it obtained an unprecedented leaked draft of the ruling, written by Justice Samuel Alito, a conservative on the court.
The Supreme Court had been expected to rule later this year on Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, a case stemming from a Mississippi law that would ban most abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy.
According to POLITICO, the majority opinion draft suggests “Roe was egregiously wrong from the start.” POLITICO says that the opinion has the support of four of the Republican-appointed justices, with three Democratic-appointed justices writing one or more dissenting opinions. Where Chief Justice John Roberts stands is unclear at this time, POLITICO reports.
WBEZ could not verify the authenticity of POLITICO’s report.
“As mayor, I have one message to anyone worried about access to abortion care… Chicago’s doors are open. We unequivocally respect you, and your choices,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot posted on Twitter.
A statement attributed to the mayor also warned the expected decision could be a first step toward pulling back rights for others.
“The architects of this destruction will not stop at a woman’s right to choose,” she wrote. “The Court’s draft opinion will establish a precedent for gutting the legal underpinnings used to protect against gender-based discrimination overall including women’s rights, trans rights, immigrant rights, and of course, the right to same-sex and interracial marriage. This decision truly epitomizes the dangers that exist at the intersection of racism and sexism.”
Democratic Illinois Governor JB Pritzker tweeted, “In Illinois, we trust women. We cannot let their most profound and personal rights be violated.”
If Roe v. Wade were overturned, Illinois would be in a unique position compared to its neighboring states. The state already has a strong law on its books — the Reproductive Health Act signed into law in 2019 by Pritzker, which would keep abortions legal despite any Supreme Court decision.
Last year, Pritzker signed the repeal of a state law that required health care providers to notify parents, grandparents or guardians of girls 17 and under before performing abortions.
Numerous Illinois politicians weighed in on Twitter Monday night.
Let’s be clear: this is not final and the far-right Supreme Court majority will not have the last word.— Tammy Duckworth (@TammyDuckworth) May 3, 2022
The American people will. Tonight, it’s important we get loud, organize and demand action from the Senate.
Retweet if you agree it’s time to protect Roe v. Wade NOW. https://t.co/TweuJXrRhI
My body, my choice. This dangerous ruling will strip women of the right to control our own bodies.— Dr. Robin Kelly (@RobinLynneKelly) May 3, 2022
Our freedoms are being taken away. We need to show up in November and vote! https://t.co/nOQviKXOSA
This is heartbreaking but it sure as hell is not going to stop me from fighting for women’s rights everywhere.— Marie Newman (@Marie4Congress) May 3, 2022
We will march. We will vote. We will never stop fighting.
Put pro-choice majorities in the House and Senate this November and we fix this, permanently.— Sean Casten (@SeanCasten) May 3, 2022
Scream tonight. Cry tonight. Get angry tonight.
And tomorrow, get to work.
Tony Arnold is an editor on WBEZ’s Government and Politics Desk. Follow him @tonyjarnold.