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Gov. Pritzker says he’ll call General Assembly into special session to expand abortion rights in Illinois

Gov. JB Pritzker speaks at a news conference in his office at the Capitol Thursday.

In light of the Supreme Court’s decision that overturns Roe v. Wade and ends constitutional protections for abortion, Gov. JB Pritzker on Friday said he will call the Illinois General Assembly into a special session in the coming weeks to expand abortion rights in Illinois.

Abortions currently are legal in Illinois. The state’s most recent expansion of abortion rights included that doctors in Illinois may now perform abortions on minors without notifying the child’s parents or obtaining a judicial bypass of the notification requirement.

Pritzker spoke about the decision on Friday morning at a previously scheduled event in Chicago. He said he wanted to make it clear that abortion was still legal in Illinois.

“We knew this day coming. The extremists on the Supreme Court have made an abhorrent decision,” Pritzker said.

Pritzker chided politicians celebrating the Supreme Court’s decision by adding “get your iron boot off women’s necks,” and cautioned that other rights may be taken away in future decisions by the Supreme Court.

“It’s abortion that they’re taking away. Next it will be birth control and other contraceptives, next, fertility treatment,” he said. “They are coming to take away women’s power to become mothers at the time of their choosing.”

Pritzker’s full statement released after the Supreme Court’s decision is below:

“In Illinois, we trust women. Despite the action of the Supreme Court today overturning Roe v. Wade, the right to safe, accessible reproductive health care is in full force in Illinois — and will remain so.

“In Illinois, we’ve planned for this terrible day, an enormous step backward and a shattering loss of rights. We passed the Reproductive Health Act, enshrining choice as the law of the land in Illinois. We removed the trigger law that would have prohibited abortion in Illinois with the overturning of Roe v Wade. We expanded health care so that finances are not a barrier to receiving reproductive care.

“In Illinois, we are a state committed to expanding access to reproductive health care including abortion care, contraception access, fertility treatment and gender affirming care. We’ve made it clear that we trust people to make the best decisions for themselves about their own reproductive health.

“In Illinois, we will hold firm to these rights and continue to work with stakeholders to expand them. To that end, I am calling the General Assembly into special session in the coming weeks, with the support and consultation of House Speaker Emanuel ‘Chris’ Welch and Senate President Don Harmon. Together, we are committed to taking swift action to further enshrine our commitment to reproductive health care rights and protections.”

State Sen. Dan McConchie, R-Hawthorn Woods, also released a statement in response to Pritzker’s call.

“Let me be clear, Governor Pritzker and many Illinois Democrats want to push Illinois to the utter extreme on abortion policy. Right now, Illinoisans can already get an abortion in all nine months of pregnancy for any reason and use taxpayer dollars to pay for it,” McConchie wrote. “But that’s not enough. Now, they want us to help pay for out-of-state abortions and even allow non-physicians here to perform them.”