Chicago Abortion Fund helps out-of-state women get abortions in Illinois after Roe v Wade overturned

Jasmine Minor Image
Monday, June 24, 2024
2 years after Roe v. Wade overturned, Illinois abortion demand soars
The Chicago Abortion Fund has helped a surge of women from out of state get abortion in Illinois in the 2 years since Roe v. Wade was overturned.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- On the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court's Dobbs decision, which overturned Roe v. Wade, abortion rights advocates in Illinois said they've been working to keep up with soaring demand from out-of-state patients looking for the procedure.

In the last two years, the Dobbs decision has led to abortion restrictions of some kind in 21 states. Illinois has seen a 41% increase in out-of-state patients seeking an abortion.

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"I'm a mom who's had abortions. I know what they meant for my life. I know that without access to that essential care, my life would look really different," said Mega Jeyifo, executive director of the Chicago Abortion Fund.

Jeyifo said she is fighting for the ability of every woman to make their own choice about whether or not to have an abortion, regardless of what resources they do or don't have. The Chicago Abortion Fund works in partnership with more than 100 abortion funds all over the country, and have spent nearly $7 million in direct service alone since Roe was overturned.

According to the Guttmacher Institute, Illinois saw more than 90,000 abortions in the formal healthcare system in 2023, a 74% increase compared to 2019.

READ MORE: IL Planned Parenthood clinics see uptick in Southerners seeking abortions since overturning of Roe

Anti-abortion rights advocate Eric Scheidler said banning abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy could be a good federal compromise as he calls on states to provide more resources to mothers.

"It's dismaying to me as an Illinoisan to see my state become the abortion tourism state of pretty much the entire country," he said. "What's really needed isn't an abortion. It's a rent check. It's a sympathetic father."

"There's no child that deserves to die, because of, of a crime against a woman or because of a medical condition," he added.

Jeyifo said more resources like better health and child care are needed, but the choice to have children should remain in the hands of the woman, not the government.

"We don't offer those supports, but we're demanding that people have children that they don't have the resources to care for," she said of anti-abortion rights advocates' positions.

Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson released a statement Monday, saying in part, "My administration's unwavering commitment is demonstrated in our support for policies that ensure access to affordable and quality healthcare services, including reproductive health services and abortion care...We must also continue to advocate for policies that protect reproductive rights, support comprehensive sex education, and ensure affordable and accessible healthcare for all. Together, we can resist attempts to roll back the progress we have made, ensuring Chicago remains a sanctuary for reproductive justice and care."

The Dobbs anniversary comes more than a week after the Supreme Court rejected a challenge to mifepristone, keeping the abortion pill available for women to use under current FDA guidelines.