FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Amy Gehrke, Executive Director
ILLINOIS RIGHT TO LIFE REACTS TO U.S. SUPREME COURT UPHOLDING TEXAS’S ABORTION BAN
September 2, 2021 —- (CHICAGO)
Illinois Right to Life applauds the members of the U.S. Supreme Court on their decision to uphold Texas Senate Bill 8, the “Heartbeat Bill”, which bans abortions after a fetus’s first heartbeat in the sixth week of development. After deciding not to strike down the law before it went into effect on September 1st at midnight, the Court handed down a 5-4 decision that ruled the law should not be struck down. While this is very good news for women and preborn children in Texas, here in Illinois, the state is poised to increase its stature as a haven for abortion.
“This is a historic moment in our nation, as it is the first time since 1973 that preborn babies who have not yet reached viability are legally protected from abortion,” said Amy Gehrke, Executive Director of Illinois Right to Life, “We hope this will embolden other states to pass similar laws. Here in Illinois, because of the Reproductive Health Act signed into law in 2019, protective laws like the Texas Heartbeat Bill are virtually impossible to pass. We have no doubt that abortion advocates will use this as an opportunity to lure even more women to our state for abortions paid for by the taxpayers of Illinois.”
Since the Supreme Court is currently considering “[w]hether all pre-viability prohibitions on elective abortions are unconstitutional” in Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which centers on a Louisiana abortion ban, the Court’s decision to permit Texas’s pre-viability abortion ban suggests the Court might be preparing to strike down Roe v. Wade’s viability standard.
Whatever may come of the Dobbs decision next year, pro-life states now have a legal roadmap on how to ban nearly all abortions in their states. Since the Court did not strike down Texas’s law, states can now be confident that identical or similar legislation would also be upheld by the Court. However, in Illinois, this means our state’s abortion industry, with the help of Governor J.B. Pritzker, have the opportunity to further brand Illinois as the “abortion mecca” of the Midwest.
“If the many pro-life states that border Illinois are successful in passing similar abortion bans, then Illinois will face a huge spike in taxpayer-funded abortions provided to people who live out-of-state,” said Gehrke. “This is a joyous day for life and equality in Texas and the country as a whole, but it is a sobering and important day for the pro-life movement in Illinois as we prepare to be ground zero in the nation’s abortion debate.”
Illinois Right to Life is the state’s oldest and largest pro-life organization. We seek to protect those threatened by abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia through education and direct aid.