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    HomePoliticsDozens rally against anti-abortion decision in Belleville | Politics

    Dozens rally against anti-abortion decision in Belleville | Politics

    BELLEVILLE — Nationwide protests against the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate a federal constitutional right to abortion reached the Metro East Saturday as dozens gathered to commiserate and sound off.

    For more than an hour in the early evening, people held signs reading “Mind your own uterus” and “Abortion is a human right” and shouted out chants like “My body, my choice.” 

    Liz Hageman-Hughes, 34, drove over from Creve Coeur and said she was still stunned by the court’s reversal of the 49-year-old Roe v. Wade decision Friday. 

    “It’s been there all my life,” she said. “I never thought it would go backwards.”

    Thousands of people across the country were grappling with the same feelings Saturday. Protesters gathered outside the Supreme Court building in Washington, around City Hall in Cleveland, at the state capitol in Texas and on the streets of Los Angeles. Advocacy groups called out for help jump-starting campaigns against the decision. 

    In Belleville, Planned Parenthood’s political arm asked attendees to sign a petition calling on Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker to bolster support for abortion by allowing nurse practitioners and physician assistants to perform the procedure. Doing that, the petition said, would ease the burden on providers preparing for a significant increase in patients coming from conservative states like Missouri that are outlawing the procedure. 

    Illinois already has some of the most expansive abortion rights law in the country. Bills signed in recent years have allowed state health insurance and Medicaid to pay for abortions, repealed parental notice requirements for patients under 18, and declared access to the procedure a “fundamental right.”

    Pritzker said Friday he would call the Legislature into special session this summer to respond to the high court’s decision.

    “The Democratic leadership in Illinois is committed to taking swift action to further enshrine our commitment to reproductive health care,” he told reporters. 

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