PI Original Ellyn Fortino Thursday October 20th, 2016, 2:31pm

Chicagoans Protest Republican 'Attacks On Women' Outside Trump Tower

Chicagoans rallied outside the Trump Tower to denounce Donald Trump and the Republican Party's "attacks on women."

The day after Donald Trump called Hillary Clinton a "nasty woman" at the final presidential debate, Chicagoans spoke out Thursday afternoon against "Trump and the GOP's physical and legislative attacks on women."

Gathering near the Trump International Hotel and Tower, a crowd of mostly women toted signs that read "Women demand respect" and "Nasty women unite!"

Sponsors of the speak-out included the Chicago NOW PAC, Citizen Action/Illinois, Grassroots Illinois Action, People's Action, UNITE HERE Local 1 and other groups.

"As we embark on the last days of the campaign, we gather to affirm our values and reject Trump's misogyny, racism, divisiveness and his dangerous attempt to deny America's peaceful leadership transition should he lose the election," said Jane Ramsey with Chicago Women Take Action.

"Let us not be deceived: Donald Trump is no aberration," she continued. "His campaign arose from the fertile ground and the foundation of the GOP that has fought women's right to choose, has stoked birtherism, has victimized immigrants and fanned the flame of Islamophobia."

Donna Miller with Planned Parenthood Illinois Action denounced Trump's "extreme" positions on women's health care.

"He wants to appoint Supreme Court justices who would overturn Roe v. Wade, sign a 20-week abortion ban, defund Planned Parenthood ... and deny millions of women access to essential preventive health care," she said. "Don't even get me started when it gets to talking about punishing women for having an abortion. We can't take this. Because why? Because we demand respect!"

At last night's debate, Clinton and Trump clashed on abortion.

The moderator asked Clinton about her vote against the federal Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 2003 when she was a U.S. senator.

In explaining her position, Clinton said she has "met with women who toward the end of their pregnancy get the worst news one could get, that their health is in jeopardy if they continue to carry to term or that something terrible has happened or just been discovered about the pregnancy."

"I do not think the United States government should be stepping in and making those most personal of decisions," she added.

Trump spoke in graphic terms when asked about the issue of late-term abortions.

"With what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby," Trump said. "Now, you can say that that's OK, and Hillary can say that that's OK, but that's not OK with me."

Clinton responded: "Well, that is not what happens in these cases. And using that kind of scare rhetoric is just terribly unfortunate."

At Thursday's rally, speakers also slammed Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner for failing to disavow Trump. Some in the crowd held signs that read "Stop the Trump-Rauner war on women."

Rauner has called the rhetoric of the presidential campaign "appalling" and "disgusting." After Trump's vulgar comments about women surfaced in the 2005 "Access Hollywood" video, Rauner said "the language is vile and repulsive and I condemn it in the strongest possible way." The governor, however, has stopped short of saying he would not vote for Trump.

"Actually, governor, the strongest condemnation would be to unequivocally reject Trump's treatment of not just women, but Latinos, Muslims, black folk as well, and admit Donald Trump is not fit to be president of these United States," said Adrienne Alexander with AFSCME Council 31.

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