During a hearing addressing a post-Roe America, Judiciary Committee releases testimony from Juliana Stratton, Lt. Gov. of Illinois
WASHINGTON – The Senate Judiciary Committee released Illinois Lieutenant Governor Juliana Stratton’s prepared testimony during today’s hearing entitled “A Post-Roe America: The Legal Consequences of the Dobbs Decision.” Stratton is the first Black woman to serve as Illinois’s Lieutenant Governor, a position she has held since 2019. Her testimony focuses on the steps that Illinois has taken to protect access to abortion, the challenges of out-of-state patients coming to Illinois to seek care, and the significant racial disparities that already exist for abortion access and maternal mortality.
Key quotes as prepared:
“I come before you today because people throughout the entire Midwest are relying on our commitment to protect and preserve women’s rights—namely the right to an abortion.”
“[Illinois is] not just an oasis of reproductive care, but an island… It looks like disenfranchised yet determined patients coming from every surrounding state, but also from as far away as Tennessee, Texas, Louisiana, Alabama, and Florida. It looks like the entire staff in our state’s abortion clinics fielding phone calls for appointments because the number of out-of-state patients has doubled since Roe V Wade was overturned.”
“[W]e know that inequities are amplified within the Black and Latinx communities. A post-Roe America will be devastating for Black women, whose maternal mortality rate is already two to three times higher than that of white women because of structural racism and misogyny. One study… projects that without access to safe and legal abortions, that number will increase by over 30 percent among Black women and nearly 20 percent for Hispanic women.”
“We are facing a future rife with needless death, despite 61% of Americans believing abortion should be legal… Before the threats to Roe V Wade were fully realized, Illinois was proactive, upholding bodily autonomy, and protecting the right to an abortion. And still, the overturning of Roe V Wade has sent us down a dark, agonizing path.”
“I say this, not just as the Lt. Governor of Illinois, but as the mother of four daughters. My daughters, who now have fewer rights than I had. And based on Justice Clarence Thomas’ concurring opinion, it is likely this may not be the last rights that will be stripped from future generations.”
Full text of Lt. Gov. Stratton’s prepared remarks are available here.