Pritzker calls on federal lawmakers to protect women's rights

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is calling on federal lawmakers to protect women's rights.

Pritzker held a news conference Wednesday morning at the Planned Parenthood in Fairview Heights.

The governor says more than 75 percent of the clinic's patients are from out-of-state — many traveling at least eight hours to obtain the healthcare of their choice.


"People should not have to endure trauma after trauma to be in control of their own bodies," said Pritzker. "But that's exactly the burden that this right-wing Supreme Court and anti-choice governors and state legislatures increasingly put on the backs of millions of women."

The governor's pledge to protect women's reproductive rights came just hours before a showdown on Capitol Hill. A Senate test vote Wednesday failed 51-49.

"Women are under siege. Basic rights to privacy, to healthcare, to the rights of women to control their own bodies, are about to be stripped away," Pritzker said. "The world is watching. Here in Illinois, we trust women. To the U.S. Senate we say, ‘Be like Illinois.’"

He finished with an offhanded pitch for protests, recalling how in her work for women’s rights, his mother taught him "how important it is to turn protest into action." Later he emphasized they must be peaceful.

The debate over access to abortion — which has never fallen far from the top tier of political debate in the past half-century — has roiled the nation since Politico reported last week on a leaked preliminary opinion suggesting the Supreme Court will overturn Roe in a case over a Mississippi law prohibiting abortion after 15 weeks.

Associated Press contributed to this report.