2021, The Worst Year Ever For Abortion Rights –
Including The Pro-Choice Movement in Illinois
Right-wing extremists continue to attack the pro-choice movement in Illinois.
We are not protected.
It’s clear that abortion care and reproductive rights are under attack all across the country. But there’s a false narrative that birth control, abortion care, and reproductive freedom at large are safe here in Illinois. This could not be more misleading… or more dangerous. Anti-choice extremists are hard at work and are just waiting for their next chance to restrict access to basic healthcare for the people of Illinois. The attacks are relentless, and they don’t stop with abortion access. Right-wingers are also assaulting many other civil rights, including voting and transgender rights. The pro-choice movement in Illinois is no exception.
Just this month, a new report was just released from the Guttmacher Institute, and the data is pretty devastating for the pro-choice movement. Their findings show that 2021, which as you know is only just halfway over, is already the worst legislative year EVER for U.S. abortion rights. On top of that, states have enacted an unprecedented 90 restrictions on abortion care. This is more than in any previous year since Roe v. Wade was decided in 1973. Click here to view the full report.
Right-wing, conservative leaders are chipping away at Roe v. Wade and implementing restrictions at the state level all across the country. Their plan is to force the US Supreme Court to revisit – and overturn – Roe v. Wade in order to make birth control and abortion care illegal. And make no mistake, it is working.
Earlier this month, Texas shocked the pro-choice community with their most recent abortion ban. But like Citizens, Not the State, Will Enforce New Abortion Law in Texas a recent New York Times article says, this goes way beyond what other states have tried. The measure “bans abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. And it effectively deputizes ordinary citizens to sue people involved in the process.”
This might be the most shocking case, but it is only the tip of the iceberg. Earlier this year, Arkansas Governor Hutchinson signed into law one of the most restrictive abortion bans in the state and country. The law only allows abortion in cases where it’s necessary to save the life of the fetus or mother… with no exceptions for rape or incest. It would also deem performing an abortion (or attempting to) a felony with punishment of a fine up to $100,000 or a prison sentence.
Jeanne Mancini, president of the March for Life, recently said that her group’s very mission is “to work for a time when abortion is unthinkable.” When someone tells you their plan, we should believe it.
As of today, 22 states have “trigger laws” that will be used to automatically make abortion illegal the day Roe is modified or overturned. This is nearly assured with Trump’s Supreme Court’s anti-choice majority and with additional states enacting these trigger laws each month. These are very real threats to the pro-choice movement. Illinois repealed its trigger law in 2017 with HB 40, and we were one of only four states that had a trigger law at the time!
So what does this all mean for reproductive freedom and the pro-choice movement in Illinois? A lot. We are not free from these attacks. The anti-choice movement is actively preparing for the post-Roe era and the 2022 election… even here in Illinois. We must be doing the same! We must prepare for the once-in-a-decade 2022 election and the post-Roe era. We hope you will support our work today and join the fight because elections have serious consequences.