CHICAGO – A number of members of the Illinois Senate Democratic Caucus spoke out Tuesday to condemn the leaked Supreme Court opinion draft overturning Roe v. Wade, which would put the legality of abortion in the hands of individual states.

“As long as there is a Democratic majority in the State Senate, a woman’s right to choose will be protected in Illinois,” said Senate President Don Harmon (D-Chicago). “We will stand as a bulwark against any efforts to turn back the clock to darker days. “

Monday night, a draft Supreme Court opinion was leaked, which showed the nation’s top court plan to overturn Roe v. Wade. Tuesday morning, Chief Justice John Roberts confirmed the authenticity of the leaked draft, but said it was not the final opinion. Should the case be overturned, abortion policy would be left up to individual states.

"It is terrifying that in 2022 a woman in this nation may be given less freedoms and choices over her body and places to receive care for it," said State Senator Laura Murphy (D- Des Plaines). "We've worked too hard to move women forward to take a step back like this now. I will continue to fight until the right to choose is protected for all women."

However, Illinois has some of the most extensive and liberal reproductive health laws in the country. It is among 14 states that have laws on the books protecting abortion rights in the event Roe v. Wade is overturned.

In 2017, the General Assembly passed a law to expand access to abortion. The law repealed “trigger” provisions in the Illinois Abortion Law, confirming that abortion will remain legal in Illinois even if the U.S. Supreme Court rolls back Roe v. Wade.

“Although Illinois has taken proactive steps to protect women’s reproductive rights, millions of women could be in danger should Roe v. Wade be overturned, and this regressive move would set our country back by more than five decades,” said State Senator Adriane Johnson (D-Buffalo Grove). “Reproductive care is essential for women’s health, especially in underserved areas. I will continue to fight against this injustice and support women through these intense times.”

In 2019, the General Assembly passed the Reproductive Health Act. The RHA gives each person a fundamental right to make individual decisions about their own reproductive health.  

“No person should be able to dictate or take away a woman’s right to choose. The move by the country’s top court is devastating, disheartening and downright appalling,” said State Senator Melinda Bush (D-Grayslake). “History shows us that today’s move won’t ban abortion — it will ban safe abortion, putting women at greater health risks. While I am relieved women in Illinois are able to depend on the reproductive health care they need, I can honestly say I’m afraid of the infringement of rights taking place in our country.”

These members and their colleagues vowed to continue to work together to ensure a woman’s right to choose stays protected in Illinois.