Gov. JB Pritzker on Friday urged President Joe Biden to boost federal funding to Illinois and other states where abortion remains legal and to support doctors across the country who provide telehealth services as more states begin restricting access to reproductive health services.
The requests came during a White House call between Biden and Democratic governors one week after the conservative majority of the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark decision in Roe v. Wade that protected access to abortion services for nearly half a century.
In Illinois, lawmakers are preparing to return to Springfield, possibly as soon as next week, for a special legislative session at strengthening the state’s already formidable protections for abortion access.
Pritzker, who has made abortion a central issue of his reelection bid against ultraconservative Republican state Mon. Darren Bailey of Xenia, also called for a federal reproductive health care “strike force” to review federal rules with an eye toward improving access.
Pritzker did not speak during the portion of the call that was carried on a public livestream, but the governor’s office provided a summary of his remarks.
In a statement after the call, Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh said the governor “is gratified that President Biden embraced his suggestions, particularly moving forward with a concrete strike force that includes Democratic governors and federal leaders to protect access to safe, legal abortion and reproductive care .”
In his remarks to Pritzker and eight other Democratic governors, Biden said his administration, through the Justice Department and the Food and Drug Administration, will take steps to ensure that people are able