Planned Parenthood, which operates a clinic in Metro East, expects an influx of patients to Illinois following Friday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade.
Planned Parenthood Illinois Action held a press conference Friday in Chicago with a number of public officials on hand to show solidarity in protecting reproductive healthcare rights.
“Planned Parenthood Illinois Action is outraged the Supreme Court has discarded 50 years of precedent and stripped away the constitutional right to abortion, robbing people of their power to control their bodies, their lives, and their futures for generations to come. It is shameful that the Court is ignoring the majority of people in this country who believe that abortion should remain safe and legal,” said Jennifer Welch, president and CEO, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action.
“Let me be clear, in Illinois abortion is and will remain legal. We expect every state that borders Illinois to quickly move to ban or severely restrict abortion access. Tens of thousands of people are now facing a terrible dilemma; flee to a state like Illinois to get an abortion, carry a pregnancy against their will or seek an illegal means to end their pregnancy. This ruling is especially cruel to communities that already face tremendous barriers to health care; people living in poverty, Black and Latino communities, immigrants, young people, people with disabilities and other marginalized groups,” added Welch.
The doors are open at all 17 Planned Parenthood of Illinois health centers, as the organization prepares for an increase of 20,000 to 30,000 out-of-state abortion patients annually. Among clinics are one in Fairview Heights, opened this past year.
Friday’s press conference included Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Alicia Hurtado with the Chicago Abortion Fund, Illinois state Sen. Melinda Bush, and Illinois state Rep. Kelly Cassidy.
Below: Jennifer Wells addresses the press conference in Chicago. Image from Planned Parenthood Illinois Action video on Facebook,