Abortion rights groups back Pritzker, Stratton re-election campaign

Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton speak during a campaign event on April 25,...
Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton speak during a campaign event on April 25, 2022.(Mike Miletich)
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 8:14 PM CDT
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CHICAGO (WGEM) - Illinois pro-abortion rights groups are supporting the re-election campaign for Gov. JB Pritzker and Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton.

Personal PAC, Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, and the Illinois National Organization for Women announced their endorsement of Pritzker and Stratton Monday night.

“This 2022 election is going to be hard-fought as the right-wing Republicans would love nothing more than to turn back the clock on our progress,” said Terry Cosgrove, President and CEO of Personal PAC. “No, we simply can’t let this happen because what is at stake this November is so important, and we could easily become the next Texas or Oklahoma if we do not re-elect JB Pritzker and Juliana Stratton.”

Advocates say Illinois is the leader in supporting the right for people to make their own decisions about the essential health care they need. They argue Illinois must remain a haven for reproductive health care. Many are worried about the United States Supreme Court ruling on a case challenging Roe v. Wade this summer. Nationwide, organizations estimate 26 states could move to ban abortion, impacting 36 million women and other people who can become pregnant.

“When Gov. Pritzker signed the Reproductive Health Act, it guarantees that abortion is a fundamental right here in Illinois no matter what the U.S. Supreme Court decides,” said Jennifer Welch, President and CEO of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action.

Welch said patients from other states continue to come to Illinois for their reproductive health care while many states have passed plans to deny access to abortion.

The Democratic members of the Women’s Legislative Caucus also endorsed Pritzker and Stratton for supporting women’s rights. Rep. Camille Lily and Sen. Mattie Hunter highlighted recent action in Springfield to ensure access to quality health care, including reproductive health, for all women in Illinois. A similar resolution urged federal and state lawmakers to create policies to protect the health, safety, and wellness of women during the current pandemic.

“At a time when right-wing elects are waiting in the wings to make Illinois a more dangerous state for women, we are lucky to have JB and Juliana at the top of the ticket. We cannot go back,” said Lilly. “The enemy of choice never stops, but we will not stop either.”

Stratton thanked the pro-choice organizations and lawmakers for their efforts for protecting all Illinoisans. She also said Republicans cannot strip Democrats of a choice that is only an individual’s choice to make.

“These actions from GOP-led legislatures across the country have struck fear and anxiety in the hearts of millions of women and girls, forcing us to envision a future without a constitutionally-protected right to safe legal abortion,” Stratton said. “And as is the case for so many aspects of health care for Black, brown, and indigenous women, a post-Roe America will be disproportionately devastating.”

Pritzker said Illinois will stay the most pro-choice and pro-woman state in the country. The governor recalled that his mother brought him to similar rallies supporting women’s rights when he was young. Pritzker said he will continue to push a pro-woman agenda with Stratton, lawmakers, and advocacy groups. He stressed that women’s rights are not up for debate.

“I promise you this. So long as I am governor, I will continue to lead the charge with you to cement our gains and to fight against the retrograde policies of the right-wing,” Pritzker said. “Women’s rights and reproductive freedoms must never be rolled back.”

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