(The Center Square) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker joined a Clinton Foundation panel to discuss how he has addressed the issue of access to abortion after last year’s U.S. Supreme Court decision put the issue back to the states.
In June 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to return the issue of regulating abortion back to the states led to multiple states, including several neighboring Illinois, restricting the procedure. Since then, Illinois has seen an increase of out-of-state patients coming to the Land of Lincoln for the procedure.
Pritzker said he believes the issue is still very important in the next election.
“I think this is a real issue in 2024, even if you heard a lot about it in 2022. It is still here, and it’s getting worse,” Pritzker said. “I think that’s going to drive people to the polls.”
Pritzker joined Hillary Clinton and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on stage during a panel discussion for the Clinton Foundation on Tuesday.
Many have approached Pritzker and thanked him for his work in expanding access to abortion, according to the governor.
“People in deep red Trump territory, and it was mostly women, would walk up to me and lean in a whisper ‘thank you so much for preserving our right to choose,’ ” Pritzker said.
In January, Pritzker approved House Bill 4664, which aims to protect people seeking abortions, assisted reproduction and gender reassignment procedures in Illinois while expanding who can perform these procedures. There was also House Bill 3326 signed into law, which limits other states’ ability to access automatic license plate reader data in Illinois to punish someone from out of state seeking an abortion in Illinois.
Among other policies in Illinois, the state no longer requires parental notification for a minor to terminate a pregnancy. Those opposed to abortion criticize Illinois’ policies as being too extreme.
As Illinois continues to have some of the least restrictive abortion laws in the nation, 14 states voted to outlaw most abortions following the Supreme Court’s decision.
Pritzker said another thing they can not forget is adoption.
“There are children who need adoption, and we do need to make sure that we are also promoting adoption,” Pritzker said. “That we are helping young women and women of childbearing age to make a decision for themselves.”