GRANITE CITY, Ill. — Following the Supreme Court ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade, Illinois Governor JB Pritzker vowed to protect and expand abortion rights.
Gov. Pritzker is calling for a special legislative session in the coming weeks to bring about more legislation in favor of protecting access to abortion.
“In Illinois, Roe v. Wade is still the law and it will remain the law as long as we have a pro-choice legislature and a pro-choice Governor,” Gov. Pritzker said.
Over the last few months, Illinois clinics like Planned Parenthood in Fairview Heights and Hope Clinic in Granite City have already seen an increase in out-of-state patients.
“In 2020, we had nearly 10,000 women who came into Illinois for access to safe abortion. That number will grow exponentially,” Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul said.
Gov. Pritzker said in a special legislative session they will do everything they can to expand abortion rights, including making sure there are more than enough providers.
“Expanding the availability of health care professionals so that we can manage through what is likely to be an increase in people seeking to exercise their reproductive rights coming to Illinois from other states. That's just one example,” Gov. Pritzker said.
Gov. Pritzker said he is worried about our health care system, citing a time before. Roe v. Wade when one Illinois hospital alone treated more than 20,000 people for injuries following illegal abortions.
“They treated women who burned their insides with bleach and peroxide, women whose uteruses were perforated with paint brushes, cocktail stirs, knitting needles and wire coat hangers. Women who are nearly dead due to unimaginable blood loss and advanced sepsis. These women saw no other choice,” Gov. Pritzker said.
Planned Parenthood St. Louis Region President and CEO Yamelsie Rodriguez said in preparation for more patients they have been working with Gov. Pritzker’s administration to make sure all health professionals in their clinics are able to practice to the fullest extent.
“Ensuring that advanced clinicians and advanced practice nurses can practice to the highest scope of their training and provide in-clinic abortion procedures and by ensuring that there's resources on the ground to support abortion providers,” Rodriguez said.
In Illinois, clinic staff said they have already been fielding calls from providers in other states asking if they can schedule their clients who were supposed to have an abortion procedure and no longer can in their home state following this decision.