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, X from X. 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.