For Immediate Release: Sept. 27, 2021
Chicago event is in Daley Plaza; Springfield event is at the Old State Capitol Plaza
CHICAGO – A coalition of more than 20 progressive organizations, supporters, and providers of reproductive health care are holding “Defend Abortion Access” events across Illinois on Saturday, October 2, in response to the Texas abortion ban that went into effect on September 1. Similar events are happening in all 50 states. The two largest Illinois events are in Chicago’s Daley Plaza, 50 W. Washington and at the Old State Capitol Plaza, 526 E. Adams, in Springfield. Both events kick off at 11:30 a.m. with speakers beginning at noon. In keeping with current COVID-19 mitigation tactics, masks and social distancing are encouraged. For full details and to RSVP for either event, visit Planned Parenthood Illinois Action’s Facebook page at facebook.com/ppiaction.
The unconstitutional State Bill 8 in Texas bans abortion after 6 weeks, which is before many people know they are pregnant. The vast majority of people in Texas seeking an abortion are being denied care and patients are already being forced to travel to other states, including Illinois, to get the high-quality, compassionate care they need — and deserve. In addition, the Texas abortion ban includes a provision that allows people to be sued by a neighbor, distant relative, abusive partner, or even a stranger from out of state who could collect $10,000 for each successful claim.
The Chicago rally and march is MCed by Jacqui Algee, Director of External Relations, SEIU, and Sekile Nzinga. Speakers include: Jamila Jenkins, Behavioral Health Clinician, Planned Parenthood of Illinois; Pastor Nicolette “Nic” Peñaranda, First Lutheran Church of the Trinity; Mony Ruiz-Velasco, Deputy Director, Equality Illinois; Qudsiyyah Sharyif, Program Manager, Chicago Abortion Fund; and Dr. Amy Whitaker, Chief Medical Officer, Planned Parenthood of Illinois.
The Springfield rally is MCed by Sunshine Clemons from Black Lives Matter Springfield. Speakers include: Hannah Baity, a student at the University of Illinois at Springfield and youth activist; Dr. Erica Nelson, SIU School of Medicine and former Planned Parenthood of Illinois Board Member; Shatryia Smith, poet; and Rev Martin Wolfe of the Abraham Lincoln Universalist Unitarian Church.
The coalition involved in the Chicago event includes: Access Living, Chicago Abortion Fund, Chicago for Abortion Rights, Chicago NOW, Chicago Women Take Action, Equality Illinois, ICAN!, Indivisible Chicago, Indivisible Illinois, Indivisible Illinois Social Justice Alliance, Men4Choice, Midwest Access Project, Neighbors Who Vote / IL VOTE, Personal PAC, Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Reproductive Transparency Now, She Votes Illinois, The Clinic Vest Project, Women Employed, Women’s March Chicago, and Women’s March Illinois.
The coalition involved in the Springfield event includes: ACLU Springfield Chapter, Action Illinois, Black Lives Matter Springfield, CORAL (Coalition of Rainbow Alliances), Planned Parenthood Illinois Action, Sangamon Valley Group of the Sierra Club, Springfield Call 2ACTion, and Resistor Sisterhood.
Media attending the event must RSVP to Mary Jane Maharry at mj@PPIL.org.
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COALITION QUOTES [CHICAGO]
“Access Living, a disability rights and services organization based in Chicago, will join the March to Defend Abortion Access on October 2, 2021, in solidarity against the racist, sexist, ableist Texas abortion ban known as SB 8. People with disabilities, especially those from marginalized communities, tend to rely on local, regular health options due to structural barriers such as lack of access to transportation, funds, reproductive education, and accessible housing. Furthermore, people with disabilities have long struggled against efforts to take away our bodily autonomy; this is yet another such assault. Meaningful, local, safe reproductive choice is a human right for people with disabilities, just as it should be for all.”
“The Chicago Abortion Fund (CAF) is a reproductive justice organization dedicated to helping people pursue reproductive freedom and exercise their right to decide if, when, and how to parent. We provide financial, emotional and logistical support to people seeking abortion care and will support over 2,500 people this year, over half from outside of our state. Abortion funds across the country, from Texas to Illinois, are providing crucial support to their communities as we collectively navigate a global health crisis, continuing economic hardship, and political interference in our reproductive futures from racist, sexist, classist, and ableist lawmakers. We believe in reproductive freedom for all people. No one should be prevented from accessing abortion care, or any kind of health care, just because of where they live. CAF is proud to stand in solidarity with our sibling abortion funds in Texas and throughout the nation and regardless of what comes next, we will continue to fight the stigma, financial and social inequalities, and political barriers that block people from accessing abortion. Protecting the legal right to abortion in the courts is essential, but it’s not enough—we must work together to build a future where everyone has full reproductive freedom, and is met with compassion and respect as they exercise their right to decide what is best for themselves and their families.”
“Chicago For Abortion Rights is outraged by the Texas 6-week ban and all bans including the 15-week Mississippi ban that is set for oral arguments on December 1 in the U.S. Supreme Court. Our network of activists calls for “No Abortion Bans: Not Now, Not Ever.” We will be hosting a broadly cosponsored Press Conference on Sept. 27, 12 noon at Federal Plaza, with testimonials featuring those most impacted, speaking on why we need to defend Roe, keep abortion safe and legal, and urging everyone to attend the October 2 Chicago March to Defend Abortion Access.”
“Chicago NOW advocates for all birthing people to have access to safe and legal abortion; effective birth control, including emergency contraception; and reproductive health services and education. We oppose any attempts to restrict these rights through legislation or regulation and have been dedicated to this mission since our founding in 1967. Abortion bans such as Texas’s SB8 and Mississippi’s Gestational Age Act are unconstitutional, extreme attacks on our health and human rights that especially impact people of color, people of low incomes, and other marginalized groups. Abortion is healthcare, and Chicago NOW will fight to ensure that it remains safe, legal, and accessible for all.”
“Chicago Women Take Action believes abortion access is fundamental to women’s rights, and women’s rights go hand in hand with a strong democracy. As we fight to defend abortion access we also call for passage of The Freedom to Vote Act, because it is with our votes that we ensure policies that support women, children, and families.”
“For Equality Illinois, reproductive justice is LGBTQ justice because it is about autonomy over our bodies and our collective and individual ability to decide what is best for ourselves. It is about women’s rights, about queer women, about trans and gender diverse communities. We must stand together across movements, communities, and this country to ensure our democratic principles are protected, to protect our hard-earned protections and fundamental rights. And we are committed to mobilizing and educating across communities to unify against anyone restricting our choice, our bodies, and our families.”
“The Illinois Choice Action Team stands in solidarity with those in Texas who are affected by the unconstitutional abortion law, and those who will face a similar fight in the future as the precedent set by allowing this ban creates a domino effect throughout other anti-choice states. ICAT is proud to join the fight alongside such amazing pro-choice organizations, both in Illinois and across the United States. Our nation is at a crossroads, and we must make our voices heard to redirect our path toward reproductive freedom and preserving the rights of pregnant people.”
“Indivisible Chicago Alliance believes that abortion access and all the rights we fight for are in jeopardy if Democrats don’t move forcefully to protect the freedom to vote for all of us. It’s a minority of Americans who threaten abortion access and the entire progressive agenda. Indivisible Chicago Alliance calls on Democratic leadership in DC to seize this moment and immediately pass the Freedom to Vote Act so the majority of Americans can be heard and represented.”
“We are not satisfied with the status quo. The Indivisible Illinois Social Justice Alliance strives to be our better selves – an inclusive electorate advocating for policies that directly impact underserved communities. We fight for a country where bodily autonomy and choice is the right of all economic classes, not just those that can afford it.”
“Illinois NOW has been fighting for over 50 years to make our state a safe and accessible place for those seeking reproductive services. It is offensive beyond belief that conservative legislators have no compunction about suppressing the rights of pregnant people. We will continue working with statewide organizations that provide reproductive services and those who support those crossing state lines to access their constitutional rights.”
“Access to abortion care is hanging by a thread in many places around the country, and already nonexistent for people who can’t afford to travel long distances. For Midwest Access Project, these threats to our training partners mean threats to our learners, who already face so many barriers accessing clinical training in abortion. One thing we can all do is show up on October 2, a national day of action to defend abortion access.”
“Neighbors Who Vote / ILVOTE knows the majority of the American people support Roe v. Wade. Unfortunately, far too many of us don’t vote. The way to safeguard abortion rights going forward – along with our entire democracy – is to keep massively increasing voter participation.”
“Because of the devastating Texas abortion ban, Personal PAC knows young women will continue traveling long distances to Illinois for the abortion care they need and deserve. This includes young people who will have yet another barrier to face because of Illinois’ law that forces victims of violence, rape, incest, and abuse to tell their abusers they are in Illinois seeking an abortion. Now is the time to ensure Illinois can be here for ALL women from ALL states which means we must do everything possible to pass The Young Women’s Safety Act, and win in the once-in-a-decade 2022 election!”
“Planned Parenthood of Illinois knows firsthand that abortion bans don’t stop people from having abortions – they only make it more difficult for people to access essential sexual and reproductive health care. And we know that these bans also disproportionately impact patients who already face immense barriers to health care, such as Black and Latinx folks, people with low incomes, people with disabilities, and people living in rural areas. Everyone deserves the freedom to make their own medical decisions in consultation with their families and their doctors, and free from political interference. Access to essential health care should never depend on where you live or how much money you make and we will never stop fighting to help ALL people access the health care they need and deserve.”
“Reproductive Transparency Now is joining in the march to Defend Abortion Access as we stand in solidarity with dozens of reproductive rights organizations and millions of gender and racial equity advocates across the nation to protest the egregious Texas abortion ban (“SB 8”) that went into effect on September 1st of this year. SB 8 is a blatant violation of our constitutional rights as established by Roe v. Wade and pro-life extremists will leverage this legislation to drive further momentum in their efforts to assert control over the bodies of pregnant people both in additional states and at the federal level. Reproductive Transparency Now stands by fellow abortion-rights activists in Texas and across the nation as we make our voices heard and call for an end to the attack on our bodily autonomy.”
“SEIU Healthcare IL, IN, MO, & KS represents over 90,000 caregivers throughout Illinois & the Midwest. Ensuring families have access to the healthcare they need – including access to abortion services – is core to our union’s mission. We’re hitting the streets on Saturday because ALL people deserve the freedom to control their own body, personal decisions, and lives, free from political interference.”
“This rally isn’t just about Texas. States across the country will be challenging Roe v. Wade while She Votes Illinois helped ensure it was codified in our state’s legislature. We want Illinois to be a safe haven for anyone seeking abortion care, and we recognize there is still work to be done here.”
“The Clinic Vest Project is taking to the streets for abortion rights again on October 2, 2021, to fight back against the malicious attack on bodily autonomy and the crusade for authoritarianism. The far-right and religious extremists have appropriated “my body, my choice” when they petition for “medical freedom” regarding the pandemic; while rejecting our most personal “medical freedom”, our reproductive choices. The unconstitutional Texas abortion ban proves that “medical freedom” is never the issue, but governmental control is. The Clinic Vest Project stands by our comrades in Texas and all those who are affected by this horrendous ban.”
“From our first March, in 2017, Women’s March Chicago has encouraged our marchers to organize and make an impact in their communities – we are grateful to see this movement of empowerment bear fruit in the many local marches and rallies organized around the state in support of reproductive freedom. Underlying all of our actions is the belief that our Vote is our Voice. Our country is at a crossroads and our democracy is at stake – it is vital that we use our voices and protect our rights!”
COALITION QUOTES [SPRINGFIELD]
“Black Lives Matter SPI does and will always defend the right to access safe medically overseen abortions. Bans on abortion do not stop abortions. They stop SAFE abortions. We care about our community and those in it. We believe a woman has the sole right to make deeply personal choices about her body and her life and should have access to safely carry out her plan, whatever it may be.”
“The Coalition of Rainbow Alliances (CORAL) is very supportive of women’s reproductive rights. An attack on the rights of anyone is an attack on the rights of all.”
“Planned Parenthood Illinois Action knows that access to abortion is hanging by an increasingly thinning thread. The 2021 legislative season is already the most hostile year for reproductive health and rights in history, with many of our neighboring states enacting medically unnecessary and extreme laws with the sole purpose of banning abortion. The six-week Texas abortion ban is just the beginning. Because the Supreme Court let this bill stand, we are already seeing similar bills introduced in states across the countryBut we will never stop fighting for people to have equal access to the essential health care they need and deserve.”
“The Resistor Sisterhood is outraged and saddened by the enactment of Texas SB8. No person should have to cross state lines for healthcare. We support the Rally to Defend Abortion Access because we believe people in all states should have reproductive rights like we have in Illinois.”
Mary Jane Maharry