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Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Equality Illinois, ACLU of Illinois, 

and Courts Matter Illinois Denounce Trump’s Anti-Abortion, Anti-Equality Supreme Court candidates

CHICAGO, IL, July 5, 2018 -- Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL), Equality Illinois, ACLU of Illinois, and Courts Matter Illinois on Thursday called on senators to reject any of Trump’s dangerous anti-abortion candidates to the Supreme Court who would overturn Roe v. Wade, the historic case that legalized abortion in the United States, and roll back civil rights protections including LGBTQ, immigrant and voting rights.

The organizations joined in a news conference to express their concerns over the candidates reportedly being interviewed for the Supreme Court vacancy.

With Justice Kennedy’s announcement of retirement, the right to access abortion safely and legally in this country is on the line. Donald Trump has promised he will only put forward biased nominees who would “automatically” overturn Roe v. Wade and strike down the Affordable Care Act. Trump’s judges would create a world where abortion can be outlawed and health care is inaccessible.

However, 72% of Americans -- including a majority of Democrats, Independents, and Republicans -- do not want to see Roe v. Wade overturned. Now, millions of people and elected officials across the country are fighting back before a dangerous nominee joins the Supreme Court, asking senators to reject any anti-abortion appointment that Trump puts forth. According to President Trump, that is every one of the 25 names on the list he has submitted.

“The right to access abortion in this state and this country is on the line. For more than 40 years, access to safe and legal abortion has been the law of the land. With this vacancy, Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell hold the balance of the court in their hands — and with it, the legal right to access abortion in this country,” said Jennifer Welch, President and CEO, Planned Parenthood of Illinois. “Donald Trump has promised to only appoint justices who will overturn Roe v. Wade. That’s why we need senators to stand by the 72% of Americans across party lines that support protecting access to abortion by rejecting any nominee who would put our health and our rights at risk. We must not allow our daughters and granddaughters to have fewer rights than we do."

Welch also stressed that there is more at stake with the Supreme Court vacancy than access to abortion, a sentiment echoed by some of PPIL’s partners in the fight to protect civil rights:

ACLU of Illinois

“Recent decisions have demonstrated the critical role the Court plays in protecting basic rights that impact millions across our nation – from voting and privacy to due process and reproductive freedom,” said Edwin C. Yohnka, Director of Communications and Public Policy for the ACLU of Illinois. “We expect that any successor to Justice Kennedy show the same open mind, the same moderating temperament, and the same sensitivity to the equal dignity for all.”

Courts Matter Illinois

“Unless checked by the Senate – and the American people – President Trump promised to place on the highest court, a narrow-minded elitist who will protect corporations and the wealthy and powerful before the American public. Trump has a litmus test for his nominees,” said Carole Levine, Chair, Courts Matter Illinois.  “He has said he will only appoint a justice who would overturn Roe and dismantle the Affordable Care Act.  The people of this country need a fair-minded constitutionalist who values equality and justice for all.  We need an independent justice who will consider each case based on the issues, not on politics. 

“Courts Matter Illinois urges the White House to consult with senators of both parties and put forward a nominee who will uphold the rights and freedoms of all people and not turn back the clock.  We want a justice who will make rulings on a case by case basis, not on a political agenda.  Courts Matter Illinois stands ready to speak out for justice and for a justice for the Supreme Court who understands that the Constitution was written to protect us all, not just the wealthy and powerful. The people of Illinois and this nation deserve nothing less.”

Equality Illinois

“Federal courts have played critical roles in helping to advance the civil rights of LGBTQ people, including decriminalizing same-sex relationships, marriage equality, and protecting transgender students in schools. These rulings have recognized our shared American values of equality, dignity, and the freedom to be who we are without burden or discrimination,” said Michael Ziri, Director of Public Policy at Equality Illinois, the state’s civil rights organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people. “Opponents of equality want to transform the US Supreme Court and lower courts into instruments that would turn back the civil rights clock. With anti-equality forces being just one Supreme Court justice away from having that power, we call on our political leaders - including Senators Durbin and Duckworth and Governor Rauner - to take action and defend Illinois values.”

 

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Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) provides affordable, high-quality reproductive health care services and medically accurate sexual health education to women, teens and men throughout Illinois. Through medical services, educational programs and advocacy efforts, PPIL works to ensure and protect the reproductive rights of each individual. For more information, visit www.ppil.org.