It was only a week ago that I checked with State Representative Kelly Cassidy about the status of a bill protecting women’s reproductive rights should the Supreme Court overturn Roe.
Which is highly likely.
I had thought we had fought that battle and won when the Illinois passed HB40 last year.
Cassidy explained to me how that wasn’t true and that was why she and other pro-women legislators were sponsoring HB 2495, the Reproductive Health Act.
But when I called around to other legislators I was told that there was no sense of urgency about this bill and it was not likely to pass the house during the regular session, let alone get out of committee.
Apparently women’s reproductive rights was not high on the Speaker’s legislative agenda.
Today State Representative Will Guzzardi tweeted:
Maybe Mayor Lightfoot helped when she made special mention of the threat to women’s rights in her inaugural speech on Monday.
As I stand here today, Georgia is also on my mind, as is Alabama and every other state that is enacting laws intended to deprive women of our rights. Me must stand with women all across our country who fear for their basic rights and feel powerless in the face of the hateful legislation designed to control our bodies, our choices. We cannot go back — not in Chicago, not as a nation. We will join together and we will fight.
Representative Guzzardi and the Illinois House progressive caucus has a petition supporting HB2495.
The threat is real.
And the Illinois legislature is slow.
Meanwhile the pressure to dump Chicago’s Congressman Dan Lipinski is growing.
The national Democrats have resisted any progressive challenge to conservative Democrats and none is more conservative than Lipinski.
Lipinski’s record on women’s reproductive rights is the worst among any Democrat in House.
When he was challenged by Mari Newman last year, she lost by a razor thin margin of 51 to 49%.
Newman is back with the support of groups fighting for abortion rights, but the national Dems have been backing Lipinski.
Rep. Cheri Bustos of Moline, who chairs the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, has pulled out of a fundraising event for anti-abortion Rep. Dan Lipinski, highlighting the growing concerns in the party about abortion rights.
In a statement sent out on Twitter, Bustos said that she had agreed to attend a fundraiser for Lipinski several months ago, “but I’ve determined that I must cancel my participation in this event.”
“I’m proud to have a 100 percent pro-choice voting record and I’m deeply alarmed by the rapidly escalating attacks on women’s access to reproductive care in several states,” Bustos said.
When Marie Newman ran against Lipinski last time, we had her as our guest on Hitting Left with the Klonsky Brothers.