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DeKalb organizers to rally for reproductive rights on July 4

Protesters line State Street in Sycamore Friday, June 24, 2022, during a rally for abortion rights in front of the DeKalb County Courthouse in Sycamore. The group was protesting Friday's decision by the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, ending constitutional protections for abortion.

DeKALB - Organizers are set to rally for reproductive rights on Independence Day, and are expected to gather downtown at the corner of First Street and Lincoln Highway Monday morning.

According to a news release, the rally is organized in conjunction with DeKalb County Democrats and will kick off at 9 a.m. Monday, July 4 in the courtyard of Memorial Park, First Street and Lincoln Highway in DeKalb, next to the Annie Glidden mural.

Anna Henderson, who is studying for her Ph.D in history at Northern Illinois University, said all are invited and hopes that many join her.

“As a doctoral student of history at Northern Illinois University, I recognize the dangers posed by rulings that infringe on bodily autonomy, but also know that collective action has the power to counteract unjust laws,” Henderson said in a news release. “This protest will allow like-minded individuals an opportunity to express their frustrations, demonstrate community solidarity and seek solutions to the threats posed by abortion bans.”

The rally is also meant to protest the recent decision by the U.S. Supreme Court, which a week ago struck down Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortion under the U.S. Constitution nationwide in 1973. The decision had protected access to abortion for nearly 50 years at the federal level. With the court ruling, states now are able to take individual action to protect or abolish the procedure under state laws. Sweeping “trigger” laws went into effect in many states the day of the ruling June 24, largely banning abortion or taking steps to limit access, including in neighboring Missouri, Kentucky and Indiana.

In Illinois, abortion – which once was subject to jail time – is, and will remain, legal across the state, where it’s also in some cases publicly funded. Under the Reproductive Health Act passed in 2019, access to reproductive health care, including abortions, is protected under state law. Lawmakers appealed the 1995 Parental Notice of Abortion Act last year. The law required doctors to give parents a 48-hour notice before their underage child underwent an abortion.

Gov. JB Pritzker said he would call the General Assembly into a special session to bolster existing protections.

Monday won’t be the first time area residents have rallied against the court’s decision.

Nearly 100 people attended a rally in Sycamore that was organized the day of the Supreme Court ruling to advocate for abortion rights and protest the overturned ruling.