The United States Supreme Court decision on the Dobbs vs. Jackson Women’s Health Organization case, overturning Roe v. Wade and eliminating the constitutional right to abortion is an assault on the health, dignity, and rights of women and that of all persons who can become pregnant. It is also antithetical to the goals of Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot’s Gender-based Violence Implementation Task Force, whose purpose is to implement the Mayor’s strategic plan of addressing gender-based violence (GBV) and human trafficking in Chicago. The effect of this ruling will limit access to abortion in nearly half of the 50 states in this country. Barriers to abortion increase poverty, violence, and state surveillance over women’s private lives and these consequences have a disproportionate impact on people of color, young people, survivors of gender-based violence, people in the LGBTQIA+ community, and others who lack access to reproductive health care.
As members of the GBV Implementation Task Force, we know that survivors are disproportionately represented in people seeking abortions. In fact, when women seek abortions for partner related reasons, they often identify their abusive partners as the basis for their decision to terminate a pregnancy.
Furthermore, this ruling is not representative of what the majority of Americans want. A majority of Americans (61%), 85% of AAPI women, and 4 out of 5 Black women support access to safe and legal abortion. Many Indigenous communities have a long history of embracing abortion and the autonomy of birthing people as a natural part of reproductive care in their cultures and view state and federal abortion restrictions as part of a larger tapestry in which Indigenous cultures and practices have been forcibly erased.
In May of 2022, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot announced the Justice For All Pledge, which doubled down on the City’s commitment to be a safe haven for all who are unjustly denied the resources and opportunities they deserve; to fight for the rights of all people; and to ensure that no person will be attacked, assaulted, bullied, or discriminated against because of who they are, the choices they make regarding their bodily autonomy, or who they love. We will continue to join the Mayor in the fight to ensure Chicago remains a sanctuary. We remain committed to continuing to work to eradicate all forms of gender-based violence and human trafficking in the City of Chicago.
National Immigrant Justice Center
Chicago Foundation for Women
Mujeres Latinas en Acción
Healing to Action
The Network: Advocating Against Domestic Violence