Roe v. Wade Ruling Has Illinois Prepping for 30K Abortion Seekers: Pritzker

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said Saturday that the state is preparing to receive up to 30,000 women seeking abortions who are coming from neighboring states where the procedure is set to be illegal after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday.

"We will see 20,000 or potentially 30,000 [abortion seekers] because people do need to exercise those rights," Pritzker said during his appearance on Meet the Press, adding that Illinois saw 10,000 women from surrounding states, including Texas, come to Illinois last year for abortions.

The Democratic governor's remarks come after the nation's highest Court overturned its 1973 landmark ruling that provided women access to have abortions nationwide.

Planned Parenthood Illinois mentioned that the state is expected to see 20,000 to 30,000 out-of-state abortion seekers coming in every year moving forward. The organization's head of public policy, Brigid Leahy, told Insider on Friday that the state is expecting the influx to "start almost immediately."

In contrast, the state's clinics performed less than 10,000 out-of-state abortions in 2020, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Illinois removed its trigger laws and had the Reproductive Health Act signed into law in 2019, protecting women's reproductive health choices, and is now preparing to help women in neighboring states, including Indiana, where abortion is now expected to be banned or restricted.

"We're gonna need to expand capacity in our state. We're gonna need to make sure that we have the healthcare personnel that are necessary to perform these procedures, and to guarantee that medical abortion is available," Pritzker added.

Pritzker Expects to more women coming Illinois
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said Saturday that the state is preparing to receive up to 30,000 women seeking abortions who are coming from neighboring states where the procedure has become illegal after the overturn of "Roe v. Wade" on Friday. Above, Pritzker speaks during a round table discussion with high school students on October 1, 2018 in Chicago. Photo by Joshua Lott/Getty Images

The overturn of Roe v. Wade allows 13 states to enact their so-called "trigger laws," which makes abortion illegal or restricted because of pre-Roe provisions in their statute books.

Missouri and South Dakota have immediately enacted their own trigger laws. Other states with trigger laws include Arkansas, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.

"We're going to prepare for as many [women] as we need to, and again capacity means personnel and it means space. We have more than 90 clinics across the state. Some are right on the borders and prepared to take the influx, [while] some need more capacity," the governor said. "Chicago, of course, butts up against Indiana where they're about to pass laws to make abortion illegal entirely."

New York is leading a similar move where the state's Attorney General Letitia James said Saturday that the state is building an infrastructure in order to deal with the influx of individuals who are seeking legal and safe abortions. She added that the state is anticipating to see abortion seekers coming from Ohio and Pennsylvania, among other states.

"I will work tirelessly to ensure our most vulnerable and people from hostile states have access to this lifesaving care," she tweeted Friday. "Everyone in this nation deserves the right to make their own decisions about their bodies."