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⚖️ How to support abortion rights in Chicago

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_


The U.S. Supreme Court’s draft opinion overturning Roe v. Wade was leaked Monday night, sending shockwaves across the country — including Illinois.

Reproductive health care rights in Illinois are protected thanks to 2019 legislation state lawmakers passed in anticipation of the landmark case’s possible reversal.

But if overturned, Illinois could become an even bigger destination for out-of-state abortions, especially for residents across the Midwest. 

▪️ Illinois already saw nearly 10,000 out-of-state residents travel for an abortion in 2020, a near 29% increase from the previous year and follows the upward trend since 2014, according to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

▪️ A total ban would result in Illinois becoming the nearest abortion provider to about 8.9 million people of childbearing age, a 8,651% increase, the Guttmacher Institute estimated.

This isn’t new though: People have long sought abortions in Chicago, even before they were legal.

The Jane Collective was an underground network founded in Hyde Park that provided abortions to people in the 1960s and ‘70s before Roe.

1965: Heather Booth, a University of Chicago student, started getting calls after finding a doctor willing to perform an abortion for a friend.

Late ‘60s, early ’70s: Organizers learned to perform abortions, bringing the price from $500 to $100, or taking whatever patients could pay. They provided abortions fours day a week to 10 people a day at its peak. 

1972: Cops busted the group after a tip from two Catholic women. Seven members were arrested, but charges were dropped after Roe passed the next year.

🎞️ See “The Janes” documentary at the Doc10 Fest May 19. 
📕 Read “The Story of Jane” by former member Laura Kaplan.

Source: NPR

Looking to support abortion rights locally? Here’s how.

Midwest Access Coalition helps people travel across the region for safe abortions by assisting with food, childcare, medicine, and emotional support.
👉 Volunteer to be a driver or appointment companion, or donate.

Chicago Abortion Fund offers financial, logistical, and emotional support to those seeking an abortion. 
👉 Work the helpline, host fundraisers, or view other volunteer opportunities. Help the organization get to $250,000 in this year’s Fund-A-Thon.

University of Chicago is hosting writers to discuss their new books centering Black women in reproductive justice — including reporter Natalie Moore.
👉 Attend the Hyde Park event Tuesday at 4 p.m.


▪️ Bally’s River West casino proposal could be the winning bid with an official decision expected as early as Thursday, sources say. Bally’s was the only bidder to offer $25 million upfront and was thought to be the top revenue generator. [Chicago Sun-Times]

▪️ The city officially launched its bid for the 2024 Democratic National Convention. Chicago has hosted 25 Republican and Democratic conventions so far, some of which have been quite memorable. [WTTW; City Cast]

▪️ Chicago has only had one sunny day in the last 42 days during a time when we usually see 10–11 days of sunshine 😥 [Block Club Chicago]

▪️ Want to kick back a can of “Chicagwa?” Mayor Lori Lightfoot announced the city’s new branded water and its commemorative cans as part of National Drinking Water Week.


The city is celebrating some workers’ return to the office this week, which made us wonder about employees’ preferred work situations.

We polled City Cast readers, and found that a lot of you prefer the hybrid model: some days in the office, some days at home.

But not all of you. Teacher and reader Dea Black Alexander said she needs a “separation of church and state.” 

“If I’m at home, I’ll always be cleaning and doing housework,” she said.

As for me, I could use some better separation — could a two-bedroom solve my problems? — but crossing off a couple quick chores during the day is why remote work has slowly grown on me. There’s a certain convenience to loading the dishwasher during a quick break or making a hot lunch, right?


May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and you can celebrate around the city in all types of ways! 

🍛 Eat Malaysian food at Serai in Logan Square or try Chinese, Vietnamese, and Filipino cuisines at Hon Kee BBQ & Seafood Restaurant in Uptown during AAPI Restaurant Week May 13–22. 

🇯🇵 Catch all types of movies from diverse filmmakers during the Chicago Japan Film Collective May 21–30.

🇰🇷 See Korean art at the Albany Park and Budlong Woods library branches, or create Korean paper crafts at the Avalon location all month. 

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