On June 24, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, ruling there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion.
The decision means that states will determine abortion rights, which may prompt many women to go to sanctuary states such as Illinois, which has those rights embedded in its constitution.
The Supreme Court ruling also overturned Planned Parenthood v. Casey, which reaffirmed Roe.
In early May, Politico had obtained what it called a draft of a majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito that would strike down Roe.
Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker said, in part, "The extremists on the Supreme Court have made an abhorrent decision one rooted in partisan games leaving an indelible stain on our nation. Overturning Roe v. Wade directly contradicts the nation's history of expanding rights in the United States. It's an attack on freedom and liberty our constitution is supposed to guarantee. Right now, it's abortion they're taking away. Next, it will be birth control and other contraceptives. Next: fertility treatment. They are coming to take away women's power to become mothers at the time of their choosing. And they are allowing states to criminalize the exercise of reproductive rights. Women and their doctors are now threatened with going to prison or being bankrupted because of the radical majority Donald Trump and his right-wing allies created on the Supreme Court."
LGBTQ+ groups were also quick to respond.
GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis responded to the legal development, saying, "The message here is clear and distressing: Americans are losing protected access to abortion, a constitutional right they have valued for nearly fifty years, and other rights to personal liberty are at risk too.
"The anti-abortion playbook and the anti-LGBTQ playbook are one and the same. Both are about denying control over our bodies and making it more dangerous for us to live as we are. Both divide our country into free and less free, the opposite of what the United States should be. Our bodies, healthcare and our future belong to us, not to a meddling politician or extremist Supreme Court justices, and we will fight back."
Lambda Legal Acting Chief Legal Officer Jennifer Pizer said in a separate statement, "The damage wrought by today's ruling is incalculable. As we warned when a draft was leaked in May, people will die as a result of this ruling. More than half the states are already poised to ban or at least severely restrict abortion access, forcing patients to travel hundreds of miles out of state or to continue pregnancies against their will.
"Officials in some states have even suggested they will move to prevent pregnant people from leaving. We are seeing the threat of a radical, totalitarian state more and more resembling Gilead of The Handmaid's Tale. If we want to retain any shred of gender equality and personal freedom, every one of us must raise our voices and engage."
Also, Human Rights Campaign Interim President Joni Madison issued her own comments: "When the Supreme Court is willing to throw 50 years of precedent out the window, it proves that we are at an exceedingly dangerous, unprecedented moment. The Court's majority opinion does not reflect the will of our nationtwo-thirds of whom support Roe v. Wadebut instead fulfills an extreme, out-of-step, ideological agenda. And it shows that all of our rights are on the line right now, as state lawmakers will be further emboldened to test the limits of our hard-won civil rights. Women are under attack, LGBTQ+ people are under attack, BIPOC people are under attack, and we are justifiably outraged. We cannot relentwe must fight back."
Among a couple of President Joe Biden's options, according to CNN, are:
Using executive actions and FDA regulatory steps to expand access to medication abortion (pills), a widely used method that could provide access to women in states where abortions become illegal. The FDA has already approved a regulation making it easier to distribute pills by mail.
Ordering the Justice Department to challenge state laws that would criminalize crossing state lines to obtain an abortion.
Locally, an abortion-rights rally is scheduled for Friday, June 24, at 5:30 p.m. at Chicago's Federal Plaza. Dozens of organizations are sponsoring the event, including Chicago NOW, Gay Liberation Network, Indivisible Chicago, Personal PAC, Equality Illinois and Planned Parenthood Illinois Action.