Health and Fitness

Hundreds flood Millennium Park pushing for abortion rights

CHICAGO (CBS) — Following the leak of a Supreme Court draft opinion that suggests justices are set to overturn Roe v. Wade, abortion rights advocates gathered in Chicago Saturday to send a message supporting the abortion law. 

Their message was clear Saturday morning in Union Park in West Town. The crows was large and vocal. 

The Chicago rally was part of the nationa Get Your Bans Off My Body movement. It was just one of several abortion rights gatherings across the city and the country. 

CBS 2’s Sabrina Franza spoke with one protester who shared her personal story. 

Hundreds also flooded Millennium Park, pushing for the right to choose. For many women, the fight is personal. 

Patricia Wallie said she is in the fight because it is one of life and death. 

“When I was 15 I had a friend from childhood. She has a situation where she was pregnant at 15,” she said. “For her, I can imagine her just thinking she had no way out. That’s what she did. She committed suicide.” 

Wallie has lived in Chicago for decades but is originally from El Salvador. 

“El Salvador, where I come from, over there abortion is 100% illegal and criminalized,” she said. 

Fueled by that experience, she has been pushing for the right too choose for the last two years. 

“Even if your voice shakes, you speak your truth,” she said at the protest. 

Wallie shared photos of women jailed in her home country because they were accused of having abortions. 

“The people who are persecuted, they come from the public hospitals, you know? No one with money,” she said. 

People lay on the ground in protest as well. 

“They’re going to come with the fake chains and they’re going to chain them representing the restrictive laws on abortion,” Wallie said. 

Some wore green bandanas to pay homage to protests of pro-choice past to the legalization of abortion in Argentina. 

“Symbol and unity and strength and the struggle for abortion rights,” Wallie said. 

Outside of that protest was an anti-abortion counter protests. 

“This is murder, guys. This is murder,” said one counter protester. 

In Illinois abortion access isn’t under threat regardless of what the Supreme Court decides, but the fight is just as fierce. 

“Everything that happens in the U.S. ripples across the globe,” Wallie said. “And we look up to this great nation for support in abortion rights. So we cannot go back. Women have to have to right to decide about their own body.”

The leaked Supreme Court draft opinion, which seems like it would overturn Roe, does not official represent a final decision. It is possible, though, that the court could make a final ruling as soon as next month. 

Some anti-abortion advocates say should Roe v. Wade be overturned their mission will remain the same. 

The executive director of Illinois Right to Life said they are cautiously optimistic the Supreme Court will overturn Roe v. Wade. 

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