Since 1992, Personal PAC has turned back over 100-years of dangerous and misogynist laws.
For most of its history, Illinois was one of the strictest anti-choice states in America. Abortions were punished harshly, pushing women deeper and deeper into more dangerous situations. Personal PAC has fought against that, turning the tide and making Illinois a safe haven for women in the Midwest.
The Story of HB 40
As Founding Chair, and now Chair Emerita, Marcie recognized, before the pundits and other leaders across the country, that the most serious battles against reproductive rights would take place in the 50 state legislatures.
The 2010 elections were a turning point for reproductive rights in Illinois. With an increased attack on abortion rights on the federal level and severe loses in many states around the country, Illinois, with the help of Personal PAC, was one of the few states to re-elect its pro-choice Governor and a new, pro-choice Lt. Governor.
Personal PAC is committed to building the next generation of leaders who will continue the work of protecting and expanding reproductive rights in Illinois for ALL women into the next decade and beyond.
Personal PAC Annual Awards Luncheon
In 1994, Gloria Steinem was the featured speaker at Personal PAC’s first Annual Awards Luncheon, raising its visibility in Illinois and nationwide. Jane Fonda has spoken at two of the organization’s luncheons and was presented with Personal PAC’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2002.
Other past speakers included:
- Dr. Joycelyn Elders
- Former U.S. Representative Patricia Schroeder
- Molly Ivins
- Kathleen Turner
- Rita Moreno
- Judy Collins
- Olympia Dukakis
- Alfre Woodard
- Kathy Najimy
- Cynthia Nixon
- Sandra Bernhard
- Meredith Baxter
- Gloria Allred
- U. S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
- Ellen Burstyn
- Joy Reid
- Gov. Jennifer Granholm
- Cecile Richards
Irving B. Harris Spirit of Choice Award
Personal PAC established the Irving B. Harris Spirit of Choice Award in 2005 to honor the commitment of the late Irving Harris to reproductive rights and Personal PAC during his lifetime.
Since its creation, the award has been given to the following champions of reproductive rights:
2005 – Harriet Meyer
2006 – Leo Smith
2007 – Marcie Love
2008 – Phyllis Glink
2009 – Dr. George Tiller
2010 – Hannah Rosenthal
2011 – Pam Sutherland
2012 – Marj Benton
2013 – Bette Cerf Hill
2014 – Anat Hoffman
2015 – Joint Action Committee (JAC)
2016 – Judy Gold
2017 – Tina Tchen
2018 – Men4Choice
2019 – Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky
A History Of Abortion Rights In Illinois
Abortion is made illegal in Illinois from time of conception, the first such law on the books.
1920s and 30s
Medical advances make abortions safer, but lead to a more fierce crackdown.
Police crack down on abortions with cruel measures, conducting raids and forcing abortion deeper underground, with deadly results and ruined lives. Learn More.
Illinois abortion law ruled unconstitutional.
Roe v Wade becomes the law of the land, creating legal abortion in every state. This protects women from dangerous illegal abortions, but also triggers a backlash in Illinois. Read more about the horrors of the Cook County septic abortion ward.
Illinois Abortion Law Introduces Trigger Language that will make abortion illegal as soon as Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Healthcare funding for abortion can no longer be used for state employees, making it harder to find an affordable abortion.
Abortions banned at Cook County hospitals. This is especially cruel for poor and minority women who rely on county hospitals.
US Senate eliminates rape and incest exemptions on abortion bans, an act of almost immeasurable cruelty.
Personal PAC founded.
Emergency contraceptives are finally allowed to be used in state and county hospitals in rape cases.
Abortion services restored in Cook County hospitals.
Gov. Quinn signs a groundbreaking law requiring all schools in the state that teach sex education to include accurate information about birth control and STDs.
Groundbreaking birth control law passed ensuring that prescription birth control will be covered in insurance plans, defying right-wing activists stripping it from other women.
Illinois Patients Right of Conscience law ensures patients will be informed about how medical treatments they want or need might conflict with doctors’ and hospitals’ religious beliefs and not rejected outright.
HB40 Introduced, eliminating trigger language. After Gov Rauner threatened a veto, public pressure led by Personal PAC forced him to honor his initial pledge to sign.
Jan. 1 2018
HB 40 goes into effect.