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Rick Perry
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue Jul 30

‘Abortion Rights Freedom Ride’ Tour Comes To Chicago (VIDEO)

Illinois pro-choice activists and others across the country are making the call for “abortion on demand and without apology.”

More than a dozen demonstrators gathered near Michigan Avenue and Congress Parkway over the weekend to promote that message as part of the cross-country ‘Abortion Rights Freedom Ride’ tour, which stopped in Chicago on Saturday.

Members of the national organization End Pornography and Patriarchy: The Enslavement and Degradation of Women, or StopPatriarchy.org, kicked off the freedom ride July 23 in New York City and San Francisco. They will travel to at least 14 cities by August 21. The goal of the freedom ride is to push back against the reversal of abortion and birth control rights being seen across the country and to protect those on the front lines who provide abortions.

Chicago resident Martha Conrad, 62, is one local activist who will trek to other key abortion battleground states as part of the freedom ride. Conrad called it “shocking and horrible” that women still have to fight for their rights and reproductive freedom.

“We need people from all generations and all nationalities to step up,” Conrad said. “If we do not, women will not be free ... Women have been the chattel property and the breeders of children for many centuries, and we don’t want to go back to that.” Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue Jul 23

Pro-Choice Groups Plan Next Steps Following IL Supreme Court’s Abortion Notification Ruling

A wave of disappointment from pro-choice and women rights advocates rocked Illinois earlier this month after the state Supreme Court upheld a law that requires doctors to inform a parent before those younger than 18 can get an abortion.

“It puts our teens in danger, and our whole pro-choice community is very sad about that,” said Benita Ulisano, co-chair of the Illinois Choice Action Team.

The state’s high court found Illinois’ Parental Notice of Abortion Act of 1995, which has never been implemented due to legal challenges, to be constitutional. By a 7-0 vote, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld a previous circuit court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit filed back in 2009 that challenged the law.

For years, the ACLU of Illinois has been at the front lines in the battle against the state’s notification law and represented the plaintiffs in the case, which included Granite City’s Hope Clinic for Women and the director of the University of Illinois at Chicago's Center for Reproductive Health.

“This dangerous law was passed by the legislature nearly 20 years ago relying on outdated, ideological and unsupported assumptions about the purported harms of abortion, which have been shown to be inaccurate,” Lorie Chaiten, ACLU’s reproductive rights project director, said in a statement after the court’s decision. Read more »

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
Tue Jul 16

Chicago Pro-Choice Activists Rally In Support Of Texas Women (VIDEO)

Dozens of pro-choice Chicago activists assembled at Daley Plaza Monday evening to show their solidarity with Texas women who will be impacted by a restrictive abortion measure the state’s Republican-controlled legislature passed Friday.

The fight for women’s reproductive freedom in Illinois is also far from over, the protestors stressed. Last week, Illinois’ Supreme Court deemed a controversial 1995 state law constitutional. The law requires doctors to notify a parent before those under the age of 18 can get an abortion. The law, which has never been implemented, will start being enforced August 15.

“I know I am not alone in feeling extremely dispirited after the weekend ... a weekend in which we were told that [as] women our voices don’t matter, our needs don’t matter in the discussion about our own lives and about what kind of health care we can access,” Corinne Westing, a Chicago registered nurse and newly-certified nurse midwife, told the more than 50 protestors.

Read more »

PI Original
by Ashlee Rezin
Wed Feb 20

Gingrich, Axelrod Talk Politics, Demographics & The Future Of The Republican Party

In front of a more than 600-person audience, former speaker of the house and Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich sat down for a 90-minute conversation with former White House senior adviser, President Obama’s 2012 campaign manager, and new MSNBC correspondent David Axelrod at the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics last night. Progress Illinois was there for the candid discussion.

PI Original
Wed Jun 29, 2011

The GOP's Crusade Against Planned Parenthood

The GOP's targeting of Planned Parenthood has never been more absurdly profound. After a failed attempt in Congress, Republicans are taking on their crusade against women's reproductive rights to the state level in Indiana, Wisconsin, Kansas, North Carolina and Texas.