Anti-abortion protest coming to Springfield, counterprotest planned

Rallygoers hold up their signs at the start of the rally on Saturday, Oct. 2, in Springfield. All photos by Tom Wray

Illinois Right to Life is planning an anti-abortion rally at the Illinois State Capitol on Tuesday, March 21, but pro-choice activists aren’t planning to let it go unopposed.

The anti-abortion rally is set for noon at the capitol at noon on March 21. Joining Right to Life in sponsoring rally are the Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield, weDignify and Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. They plan to march around the capitol building at 1 p.m. followed by lobbying.

Pro-choice groups are planning to gather across the street at 11 a.m. to counterprotest. Organizers include Indivisible Illinois, Indivisible MetroEast, the Gay Liberation Network, Chicago for Abortion Rights, MARRCH, Indivisible Rural Illinois, Chicago NOW and Reproductive Transparency Now.

Springfield has been the site of several pro-choice rallies since Roe v. Wade was overturned last year.

Since the overturn of Roe, Illinois has stood out among its neighbors in codifying abortion access. Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed a bill in January that protects healthcare providers who perform reproductive health services from charges or license threats from states that restrict abortion. New clinics have opened in Rockford, Carbondale and Champaign. Planned Parenthood of St. Louis has launched a mobile clinic.

The pro-choice rally will meet at the corner of Monroe and Second Streets in downtown Springfield at 11 am. You can follow the event on Facebook.