ILLINOIS – The Supreme Court has ended constitutional protections for abortion that had been in place for nearly 50 years after a decision by its conservative majority to overturn Roe v. Wade.

Friday’s outcome is expected to lead to abortion bans in roughly half the states.

In Illinois, governor J.B. Pritzker and his administration has condemned the decision.

“Today, in a direct assault on the right to privacy and self-determination, the United States Supreme Court confirmed our worst fears on Roe vs Wade,” a spokesperson for the campaign said. “The Republican Party and the extremists they appointed to the Supreme Court have satisfied their goal.”

After the ruling dropped, Pritzker called for a special legislative session to focus on reproductive health care access and strengthening protections. Both the Senate President and House Speaker would need to sign off on that special session.

Illinois is one of the few states in the country that put protections in place in case of such an outcome.

In 2019, Pritzker signed the Reproductive Health Act into law, establishing women’s access to abortion as a “fundamental right” and that a “fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights.” It also required insurance coverage for abortion. Under state law, the procedure is protected until a fetus is viable outside the womb.

The RHA signed in 2019 protects all individual decision-making in the area of reproductive health. According to the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, this includes decisions about reproductive health care such as:

  • Deciding to use or refuse contraception (birth control) or sterilization.
  • Deciding what type of birth control to use, if any.
  • If pregnant, deciding whether to give birth or have an abortion.
  • Making health care decisions about preventing pregnancy, terminating pregnancy, managing pregnancy loss, or how to improve maternal health or birth outcomes. 
  • When giving birth, making decisions like whether to have an induction, epidural anesthesia, or cesarean surgery.

Last year, Pritzker also signed a law ending parental notification, a requirement that doctors notify the parents of a minor seeking an abortion.

Illinois is currently one of 16 states that protects abortion access under state law,  either by guaranteeing the right to get an abortion up to a certain point or any stage in pregnancy.