Various cities and states have already been preparing to become havens for abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned, and with the leaked draft opinion from the Supreme Court doing just that, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot has become the latest to jump on the bandwagon.
Lightfoot recently spoke to reporters about her plans to make Chicago even more abortion-friendly, according to the Washington Post, with Lightfoot’s goal to make Chicago an “oasis” for abortion. “We are ready to fight,” she said. “We are ready to organize. We are ready to do whatever it takes. We will not stand idly by and watch our rights disappear like smoke.”
The leaked draft opinion was something Lightfoot took as a “call to arms,” especially as other states, like Oklahoma and Texas, have moved to restrict abortion. Should Roe fall, individual states will be permitted to make their own laws regarding abortion. “We’re expecting, frankly, an explosion of new cases from women in Wisconsin, Missouri, potentially Michigan, Indiana,” she said. “I think the list is long, and Chicago is going to be an oasis in the Midwest, and we have got to be ready.”
Sat down with @HallieJackson and @MSNBC to discuss Chicago’s plan for reproductive rights and abortion access. Chicago is going to be an oasis for women in the Midwest, and we’ve got to be ready. pic.twitter.com/VaNXM8T0lj
— Lori Lightfoot (@LoriLightfoot) May 9, 2022
Part of Lightfoot’s plan includes allocating $500,000 from the Chicago Department of Public Health to pay for costs associated for women’s abortions; this includes lodging, transportation, food, and more. And that sum, Lightfoot said, is merely a “down payment to help our front-line providers get over this immediate hurdle.” It could potentially increase in the future.
Lightfoot was recently criticized for what some deemed an incitement to violence for her tweet referring to a “call to arms.” Yet Lightfoot shrugged off that criticism, and doubled down on her rhetoric. “We are soldiers,” she said. “We are soldiers prepared to fight.”
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker joined Lightfoot in calling for abortion to be as accessible as possible within the state. In a press release issued last week, Pritzker condemned the potential overturning of Roe. “The terrifying implications of this decision and what it means for millions of women across the country cannot be understated,” he said. “But let me be clear — no matter what atrocity of an opinion the Supreme Court officially rolls out this summer in regards to Roe versus Wade — abortion will always be safe and legal here in Illinois. Illinois is and will remain a beacon of hope in an increasingly dark world. I will fight like hell — not just for the women who call Illinois home, but every person in every corner of this country who deserves to live a life of their own design.”
Pritzker previously went so far as discarding the state’s ban on partial-birth abortion in 2019 and supporting the repeal of the state’s parental notification law. More recently, state lawmakers have worked to protect Illinois abortionists if they commit illegal abortions elsewhere. So despite the claims from Pritzker and Lightfoot that they need to create an abortion oasis, there’s no need to do so; Illinois already is one.
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