Abortion rally Chicago: Gov. JB Pritzker joins downtown protest near Federal Plaza as US Supreme Court could overturn Roe v Wade

CHICAGO (WLS) — Hundreds of people descended upon downtown in support of abortion rights. They took to the streets and marched in the Loop, channeling their rage, they say, into action.Following the leaked Supreme Court draft decision to overturn Roe v. Wade people across the country and in Chicago have been mobilizing.

“As a proud Union nurse, I understand that reproductive care and abortion is a central health care,” said National Nurses United-Chicago Vice President Martese Chism.Abortion rights activists gathered outside Federal Plaza on Saturday afternoon.

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“We know that the ones who will suffer the most are the very young, people of color, and people of limited means,” said Chicago NOW President Gina Rozman-Wendle.

SEIU Healthcare Executive Board Vice-Chair Kim Smith also weighed in.

“It affects me, it affects my daughter, it affects the woman standing next to me that I don’t know but I should be able to help, that I should be able to protect,” Smith said.

Speakers and attendees also shared their own personal stories.

“I had an illegal abortion at a doctor’s basement office in Pittsburgh when I was 17 and the fight is both personal and political to me,” Debby Pope of the Chicago Teachers Union.

Chicagoan Connie Steinau said she’s fighting for abortion rights for the second time.

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“I am one of those folks who stood up the first time and now standing up the second time,” Steinau said.

One couple in attendance was in their 20s when Roe v. Wade was first ruled on.

“I knew a doctor who was a reputable gynecologist who was also very pro-choice and was risking his license because he wanted people to have safe abortions. I mean, this is criminal,” said Chicagoan Pete Steinau.

The ruling has been in place since 1973. If overturned, it will leave millions of pregnant women across the country without the option to get an abortion.

“Chicago, are you ready for the fight?” said Gov. JB Pritzker. “In Illinois you are safe and we must do everything in our power to keep it that way. So I ask again, are you ready for the fight?”

Organizers have promised they’ll stay on top of lawmakers, and said they’ll be back next weekend to rally once again.

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