(The Center Square) – As Gov. J.B. Pritzker continues his push for abortion access nationwide, he has started a group aimed at fighting “right-wing extremists.”
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 in out-of-state patients coming to the Land of Lincoln to receive an abortion.
Pritzker has pushed for looser restrictions.
Think Big America, a non-profit social welfare group Pritzker announced this week, focuses on promoting ballot measures that would codify abortion rights in states other than Illinois. Illinois has some of the loosest abortion laws in the nation, as they no longer require parental notification for minors to terminate a pregnancy.
“Over the last few years, the far right agenda has become more extreme, the end of reproductive rights, widespread book bans, a rollback of voting rights and civil rights, an erosion of trust in our institutions. That will be our reality if we do not act now,” Pritzker said.
The group will support abortion advocates with funding.
Illinois Right to Life, a group opposed to abortion, said this group is extreme.
“The extreme legislation they’ve been passing hurts women, certainly hurts the unborn, and doesn’t give any choices,” Ralph Rivera said. “The only choice they want is abortion.”
Rivera told The Center Square that Pritzker is turning his back on a large group of Illinoisans.
“These are people who care about women and their unborn baby,” Rivera said. “They want what’s best for them, and that is not extremism.”
Illinois has already 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.