(The Center Square) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Monday that he expects abortion issues to be a central talking point in November’s election as he marked the 51st anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision, which made abortion a federal right in the United 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 restricting the procedure, while Illinois has pushed for abortion rights.
On Monday, Pritzker addressed the anniversary and reaffirmed his commitment to providing abortion care. He took part in an abortion roundtable with Chicago Abortion Fund leaders, healthcare providers, and advocates for abortion services.
“On the anniversary of Roe v. Wade, I am here to say that Illinois will remain a haven for women from all corners of the nation,” the governor said. “I will continue to do everything in my power to expand access to reproductive healthcare and protect patients and providers alike because, like you, I know that abortion access is healthcare.”
Pritzker said he expects the issue of abortion to be a significant talking point in the upcoming presidential election.
“We have a lot of challenges in the United States, and President Biden has shown himself capable of bringing both sides together,” Pritzker said. “I’m hopeful because he is the one person that running that reaches across the aisle to bring people together to solve these problems.”
The Republican candidates, according to Pritzker, will do everything they can to outlaw abortion.
“Now I guess we are down to Nikki Haley and Donald Trump, who all want to take away a woman’s right to choose,” Pritzker said. “Let there be debate about that.”
Since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health, nearly 17,000 people came from other states to Illinois to terminate a pregnancy, which has led to political pushback within the state’s government.
Last summer, Pritzker’s office announced a cross-agency reproductive health care initiative that included $10 million for a public hotline for abortion service navigation and $5 million in capital funding for reproductive health facilities.
State Rep. Brad Halbrook, R-Shelbyville, said the state is spending more on people who do not live here.
“These numbers are alarming, and I wish the state would do something about this, but they continue to incentivize this,” Halbrook said. “It is unfair to the taxpayers of Illinois to first of all pay for abortions and secondly pay for folks abortions from out of state.”