Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot signed an executive order Thursday that bans city agencies from participating in other states' investigations of those who come to Chicago seeking abortions.
"Through this Executive Order, I am taking yet another step to help to safeguard all those who come to our city for reproductive healthcare," Lightfoot said in a statement. "I am proud of the continued collaboration between Planned Parenthood, the Chicago Department of Public Health, members of City Council and other City departments, who are working tirelessly to ensure that everyone in Chicago is able to receive the care they need and maintain control over their bodies."
The order follows Lightfoot's "Justice for All Pledge," which she announced in May to "protect and create fair access to opportunities and resources," including abortion care after the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade in June.
"Despite what is happening in states around Illinois, abortion is still safe and legal in our state and in Chicago," Planned Parenthood of Illinois CFO Tonya Tucker said. "Everyone in Illinois, whether they are a resident or not, has a fundamental right to the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion."
The order prohibits any city agency from assisting any other state that "seeks to impose civil or criminal liability or professional sanctions against a person or entity for providing legal reproductive healthcare in the state of Illinois and/or aiding any person seeking legal reproductive healthcare in Illinois."
Lightfoot earlier this year announced the city's Public Health Department was investing $500,000 to cover lodging, transportation and follow-up care costs of those seeking abortions in Chicago.
In May, a city alderman who is running to unseat the mayor in the November elections criticized her for using what was described as a non-issue to distract from the city's ongoing crime crisis.
While the federal right to abortion was overturned with Roe, the controversial procedure is still legal in Illinois and available in Chicago. Several states passed "trigger laws" that prohibit abortion when the 1973 case was struck down. In Illinois, however, a trigger law from 2019 — the Reproductive Health Act — took effect, keeping abortion legal.
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