Illinois pro-choice groups offer support for those in other states amid Roe v Wade overturn
WAUKEGAN, Ill. (CBS 58) -- In Illinois, where abortion remains an option, supporters there are doing what they can to help those who will now have to travel to receive services.
Two Planned Parenthood protests converged into one on these steps outside Waukegan City Hall -- with a message -- they are not giving up -- and they want Wisconsin to know they are ready to help.
The Supreme Court decision is being called an attack on women -- but there are no white flags in this crowd. Instead, these women are opening their homes and their hearts.
"I’m a baby boomer and an empty nester, so I have an empty bedroom in my house, so if any woman needs a place to stay overnight after having a procedure done before driving home, I’m willing to let them stay at my place for free," said Deb Jecuit of Illinois.
Facebook groups are now offering out-of-state women a place to stay in Illinois.
"So folks are coming from O'Hare, this major airport. You can get a flight in, have an abortion, get a flight out in the same day," said Claire McNorton of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action.
Planned Parenthood of Illinois opened its Waukegan location in 2020, believing this day could happen. Hours after the fall of Roe, Waukegan's facility remained relatively slow, but behind the scenes.
"It's all hands on deck to finding people the appointments they need as soon as they can get them. Specifically prioritizing folks who are maybe coming up to some time limits, gestational time limits," said Michelle Velasquez, Director of Legal Advocacy for Planned Parenthood Wisconsin.
Illinois is working on increasing their capacity now and Planned Parenthood is asking for donations to the National Network of Abortion Funds for one.
"So they're paying for people's child care when they need to access abortion. They're paying for people's gas when they need to access abortion, plane tickets," said Claire McNorton of Planned Parenthood Illinois Action.
"Let me make this explicit and clear to women throughout the state, Midwest and our nation: Illinois will be a safe haven for the exercise of your reproductive rights," said Illinois Governor JB Pritzker.
Major corporations around the country are also lending a hand in this. JB Morgan Chase, Disney, Netflix and these others plan to pay travel expenses for employees to have an abortion. Wisconsin Planned Parenthood is telling women to contact them first if they need help.
"Our staff are incredible and they are already jumping in to do whatever it takes to get the people of Wisconsin who need an abortion access to an abortion," said Tanya Atkinson, Planned Parenthood Wisconsin President and CEO.
With Illinois' Planned Parenthood services being overwhelmed, what do women who live there think?
"If I have to you know wait a little bit longer to get a call back or a message back I get it. You know just so you live in a different state doesn't mean you shouldn't be able to have the good care that we have here in Illinois," said Nicole Large of Wadsworth, Illinois.
We are also hearing talk that abortion doctors in Wisconsin are looking into setting up a temporary clinic in Rockford, Illinois, to give women from our state one more option.