Planned Parenthood Illinois rallies against Texas abortion law in Federal Plaza

CHICAGO (WLS) -- People gathered at Federal Plaza Friday to rally against the Texas abortion law, the most restrictive in the country.

"We need to make it known the law in Texas can't spread and can't be a continued pattern for the rest of the country," said Mariah Harden, a Planned Parenthood volunteer.

The law bans abortion after six weeks, even in cases of rape or incest.

"Last week the law went into effect on Wednesday and on Friday we had two patients at two different health centers travel all the way from Texas to get their care," said Jennifer Welch, CEO, Planned Parenthood Illinois.

Because Illinois' Reproductive HealthCare Act ensures abortion is safe and legal here, rally organizer Planned Parenthood Illinois used Friday's protest to remind women in Illinois and other states their health centers are open for business.

SEE ALSO: Texas' ban of abortions as early as 6 weeks takes effect, prompting White House condemnation

If surrounding conservative states, like Indiana, Missouri and Kentucky follow Texas' lead, Planned Parenthood Illinois is prepared for a big increase in out-of-state patients.

"That is just going to put more pressure on Illinois and the state will become more and more of the abortion dumping ground of the Midwest," said Eric Scheidler, Pro-Life Action League.

Members of the anti-abortion movement staged their own protest during today's Planned Parenthood rally.

"We are grateful Texas is taking measures to protect human life," said Sarah Michalak.

SEE ALSO: Justice Department will 'protect' abortion seekers in Texas under FACE Act

But, pro-abortion rights protesters, especially women who remember the days before Roe vs. Wade, say this country cannot go back.

"An abortion can take a human life: a women can die from an illegal abortion," said Sue Carrel.

Planned Parenthood hopes proposed federal legislation and a Justice Department lawsuit against the Texas ban will help protect a women's right to choose.
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