SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Gov. JB Pritzker on Wednesday sent several letters to businesses based in Texas, inviting them to relocate to Illinois after Texas restricted abortion access.
More states have passed restrictions on abortion this year than any year since 1973, and other states may follow.
Ever since the Supreme Court decided Roe vs. Wade in the early ’70’s, there has been a growing divide between Red States and Blue States seeking to either shore up or strip down abortion laws.
For years, Republicans have argued that businesses leave Illinois for Red states where tax policies are friendly to their bottom line.
Gubernatorial candidate Jesse Sullivan (R) said, “[Texas Governor] Abbott came up here to Illinois from Texas, and he was trying to recruit away all of our best businesses.”
Now, Pritzker is looking to turn the tables.
“I will fight to my last breath to keep this recent Texas abomination from infecting our state,” Pritzker said.
In a letter, Pritzker is recruiting companies like Oracle, Dell, Hewlett Packard and Match.com to come to a Blue state more friendly to abortion, writing, “Last I checked, the majority of Americans, including significant majorities of women and young people, aren’t too interested in living in a place where abortion isn’t an option. Illinois welcomes you.”
In his first year in office, Pritzker signed the Reproductive Health Act, declaring Illinois the most progressive state in the nation on abortion access.
Now, he faces a field of Republican challengers running to reduce abortions in the state.
Sen. Darren Bailey (R) said he’d reverse the plan former Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law.
“One of the first things that I also want to work to eliminate is taxpayer funded abortion in the State of Illinois,” Bailey said.
That same law Rauner signed protected access to abortion in Illinois, if the Supreme Court ever overturned Roe v. Wade.
House Democrat Kelly Cassidy said the new Texas ban on all abortions after six weeks enlists civil suits, not state power, to restrict abortion, a tactic she says is designed to reverse the high court’s super-precedent.
“We built a firewall around Illinois for this eventuality. This is exactly the kind of case. It’s going to make Roe fall,” she acknowledged.
Republicans are responding to Pritzker’s letter, with Bailey calling it a “stunt,” writing in a statement, “taxpayer-funded abortion is radical and wrong, but Pritzker champions it.”
Sullivan’s campaign said, “If JB Pritzker is serious about attracting businesses to Illinois, he should stop writing letters and start lowering taxes, and make Illinois a business-friendly state.”