illinois Digital News

Illinois decides in midterm primary elections


In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, abortion was expected to be a major motivation for voters on both sides.

Abortion remains legal in Illinois. Last year, Gov. JB Pritzker last year signed legislation establishing abortion as a “fundamental right” for women in Illinois, to protect abortion access if Roe v. Wade were struck down.

Pritzker said he is working with Illinois House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch and Illinois Senate President Don Harmon to call the state legislature into special session in the coming weeks to take “swift action to further enshrine our commitment to reproductive health care rights and protections.”

Pritzker’s Democratic primary challenger, Beverly Miles, is also pro-abortion rights.  

All six Republican candidates for governor are against abortion, but they differ when it comes to supporting abortion if the mother’s life is in danger, or in cases of rape or incest. 

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan, Illinois state Sen. Darren Bailey, businessman Gary Rabine and former state Sen. Paul Schimpf support abortion if a mother’s life is in danger.

Irvin, Sullivan, and Schimpf also support abortion in cases of rape and incest. Rabine does not.

Bailey’s campaign manager didn’t directly answer the question about abortion in cases rape or incest, but would only say Bailey would back legislation supporting the expectant mother and saving unborn lives. Bailey elaborated on his policy beliefs to CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas this week.

He called the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision that overturned Roe v. Wade “a welcome move because that right belongs to the states, number one. And number two, I think we both know the current legislature is not going to allow that to happen. So I think we do something different.”

He continued: “We get rid of taxpayer funded abortion. We return parental notification. And then we work with churches, civic groups and religious organizations. And I’ve already been talking to some wonderful groups on the South Side of Chicago to work to make sure abortion here in Illinois becomes unnecessary.”

Meanwhile, there are 17 Democratic candidates running to replace Rep. Bobby Rush (D-Illinois) in the 1st Congressional District, and all support abortion rights except one. Pastor Chris Butler does not support abortion and issued the following statement following the Dobbs decision:

“Today’s Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade and Planned Parenthood v. Casey initiates a momentous shift in this nation’s landscape. While I am thankful for the protection that pre-born children will receive in many states in this new post-Roe environment, I want to emphasize that this change signals the need for this nation to adopt a new way forward in how it deals with the issue of abortion. Now that the question of how to address this issue is sent back to the people and their elected representatives, we cannot let the political class continue to capitalize on dividing Americans with inflammatory rhetoric and false binaries. Americans know that abortion ends precious lives, but they also recognize that vulnerable expectant parents, facing record-high costs of living, unaffordable healthcare, inaccessible childcare, and more need support. We need to adopt a holistic approach that meets the needs of our families. This means opting for (1) real conversations, listening to the concerns of the diverse families who face abortion decisions, (2) unprecedented investment in these families, offering them real support and empowering them to choose life for their pre-born children, and (3) a fresh group of leaders who can move beyond the old paradigm and bring real change. I have taken this approach since the beginning of my campaign, and plan to continue to do so in Congress. I hope the rest of this nation’s leaders join me.”

Former U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, also a Democrat who does not endorse abortion rights, endorsed Butler.

WVON radio host and political commentator Kimberley Egonmwan noted that there has not been a lot of polling in the 1st Congressional District race, and it is not clear how important the issue will be.

The issue of abortion even became central in campaign advertising for the Illinois Secretary of State’s office. Candidates Alexi Giannoulias and Anna Valencia put out ads comparing their records on abortion, but went each to on set themselves up as being in a position to save abortion rights for Illinois.

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