‘Abortion Will Always be Safe and Legal in Illinois,' Gov. Pritzker Says

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker responded Monday to a report from Politico that a draft opinion from the Supreme Court suggested Roe v. Wade could be overturned.

"Hello no! In Illinois, we trust women. We cannot let their most profound and personal rights be violated," Pritzker tweeted Monday.

Tuesday morning during a press conference, the governor, surrounded by state leaders who helped to write the state's 2019 Reproductive Health Act, condemned the reported Supreme Court draft opinion.

“The terrifying implications of this decision and what it means for millions of women across the country cannot be understated,” said Pritzker said. “But let me be clear: no matter what atrocity of an opinion the Supreme Court officially rolls out this summer in regards to Roe versus Wade – abortion will always be safe and legal here in Illinois. Illinois is and will remain a beacon of hope in an increasingly dark world."

Governor Pritzker in 2019 signed the Reproductive Health Care Act into law in 2019, establishing a fundamental right to reproductive healthcare, including abortion and maternity care, in Illinois state law.

The law ensures regulations reflect current medical standards and requires private health insurance plans in Illinois to cover abortion like they do other pregnancy-related care.

Governor Pritzker also repealed the Parental Notification Act in 2021, which ensures that a pregnant minor can choose whether or not to involve a family member or legal guardian in their decision to have or not have an abortion.

According to a press release from the Governor's office, the most recent data from the Illinois Department of Public Health shows 7,534 nonresidents received abortions in Illinois in 2019, compared with 2,970 in 2014 and 5,528 in 2017.

A draft opinion circulated among Supreme Court justices suggests that earlier this year, a majority of them had thrown support behind overturning the 1973 case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion nationwide, according to a report published Monday night in Politico.

NBC News has not obtained nor confirmed the draft. The Associated Press could not immediately confirm the authenticity of the draft Politico posted, which if verified marks a shocking revelation of the high court’s secretive deliberation process, particularly before a case is formally decided.

What Other Illinois Politicians are Saying About the Report

Though it's not yet clear if the draft represents the court’s final word on the matter, other state officials have also reacted to the news.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Jesse Sullivan said he felt "prayerful gratitude and unbridled optimism" after the report was released:

"While the decision isn't official, and could yet be months away, I'm overjoyed at what could be a generational change in the soul of our country," he said in a statement. "Prayer works, and my prayer tonight is gratitude."

Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot says that the decision would "set our country back decades," and condemned the report.

"What we're seeing tonight on Roe v. Wade is a horrendous attack on our fundamental right to choose, and we will fight against it with everything we've got," she said on twitter. "You have my word: I will do everything I can to guarantee your right to an abortion."

Republican Rep. Mary Miller praised the ruling in a tweet.

"'Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations,'" she tweeted, quoting Jeremiah 1:5. "Pray for life!"

Democratic Rep. Mike Quigley and others are calling for the Senate to step in.

"This is utterly shameful but we can stop it. The Senate MUST end the filibuster and codify Roe."

The Supreme Court has yet to issue a ruling in the case, and opinions — and even justices’ votes — have been known to change during the drafting process. The court is expected to rule on the case before its term is up in late June or early July.

The draft is signed by Justice Samuel Alito, a member of the court's 6-3 conservative majority, who was appointed by former President George W. Bush.

“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” the draft opinion states.

“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” it adds, referencing the 1992 case Planned Parenthood v. Casey that affirmed Roe’s finding of a Constitutional right to abortion services but allowed states to place some constraints on the practice. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”

The draft opinion in effect states there is no Constitutional right to abortion services and would allow individual states to more heavily regulate or outright ban the procedure.

Politico said only that it received “a copy of the draft opinion from a person familiar with the court’s proceedings in the Mississippi case along with other details supporting the authenticity of the document.”

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