In an editorial published May 9th in the Chicago Tribune, Professors Robin Fretwell Wilson and Jason Mazzone lay out the dramatic effects of what might happen in Illinois if Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito's leaked draft opinion is the court's final opinion. The draft, written in the case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, would overturn Roe v. Wade and allow states to restrict or ban abortions entirely.
Illinois is an outlier in the Midwest in terms of access to abortion, with many neighboring states already limiting abortions or set to enact new legislation after the decision is final. With access denied to so many, Illinois could become a destination for treatment. Below is an excerpt from the editorial:
"Illinois will find itself at the center of a maelstrom if the Supreme Court restricts abortion access. For an estimated 8.9 million to 10 million women of reproductive age, Illinois would be the nearest state providing abortion. Out of this, an estimated 102,600 are predicted to need abortion access each year. For context, in 2020, 46,243 abortions were performed in Illinois. This means that, overnight, Illinois providers may be asked to perform over three times as many abortions as the year before. In 2017, only 40 facilities provided abortion in Illinois, 25 of which are clinics.
"Illinois cannot sustain demand on that scale."
Read the full editorial at the Chicago Tribune's website.
Note: The views expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the University of Illinois College of Law.