Hundreds flood Millennium Park to demand abortion rights
CHICAGO (SCS) — Following a leaked Supreme Court draft opinion that suggests the justices are set to overturn Roe v. Wade, abortion rights advocates gathered in Chicago on Saturday to send a message supporting the abortion law.
Their message was clear on Saturday morning at Union Park in West Town. The crows were large and vocal.
The Chicago rally was part of the national Get Your Bans Off My Body movement. It was just one of many abortion rights rallies across the city and the country.
CBS 2’s Sabrina Franza spoke with a protester who shared her personal story.
Hundreds of people also flooded Millennium Park, demanding the right to choose. For many women, the fight is personal.
Patricia Wallie said she’s in the fight because it’s a life and death fight.
“When I was 15, I had a childhood friend. She has a situation where she was pregnant at 15,” she said. “For her, I can imagine her thinking she had no way out. She did. She killed herself.”
Wallie has lived in Chicago for decades but is originally from El Salvador.
“In El Salvador, where I’m from, abortion is 100% illegal and criminalized,” she said.
With this experience, she has been campaigning for the right to choose for two years.
“Even if your voice is shaking, you speak your truth,” she said at the protest.
Wallie shared photos of women imprisoned in her home country because they were accused of having abortions.
“People who are persecuted, they come from public hospitals, you know? Nobody has any money,” she said.
People also lay down on the ground in protest.
“They’re going to come up with the fake chains and they’re going to chain them up representing the restrictive abortion laws,” Wallie said.
Some wore green bandanas to pay tribute to past pro-choice protests to legalize abortion in Argentina.
“Symbol and unity and strength and the fight for abortion rights,” Wallie said.
Apart from this demonstration, there was an anti-abortion counter-demonstration.
“It’s murder, guys. It’s murder,” said a counter-protester.
In Illinois, access to abortion is not threatened regardless of the Supreme Court’s decision, but the fight is just as fierce.
“Whatever happens in the United States reverberates around the world,” Wallie said. “And we admire this great nation for their support for abortion rights. So we can’t go back. Women must have the right to decide about their own bodies.”
The leaked Supreme Court draft opinion, which appears to overturn Roe, does not officially represent a final decision. However, it is possible that the court will issue a final decision as early as next month.
Some abortion advocates say that if Roe v. Wade is canceled, their mission will remain the same.
The executive director of Illinois Right to Life said he was cautiously optimistic the Supreme Court would overturn Roe v. Wade.