July 5, 2022

Pritzker Asks Biden to Increase Abortion Funding and Create Clinics on Federal Land

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker participated in a meeting with President Biden and other pro-abortion governors on July 1. The figures met to discuss actions that the federal government can take to counteract the US Supreme Court's decision overturning Roe v. Wade.

While only a portion of the governors' meeting was made available to the public, Capitol Fax received and published talking points from Governor Pritzker's office.

According to those talking points, Pritzker asked the federal government to create abortion clinics on federal land, make sure abortion pills are made available for distribution through the US postal service, create a communication network for abortion businesses to help them manage an influx of patients, and increase federal funding for abortions.

The full statement from Pritzker's office is below.

I propose that you immediately form a reproductive healthcare strike force – pulling together the best experts, federal leaders, and the states on the frontline of this fight to find every single federal rule and regulation that can enhance our ability to provide reproductive health care. Eliminate the rules that are creating barriers and create new rules that expand access. Make sure the FTC takes a hard look at whether our existing privacy regulations are sufficient to protect individuals looking for abortion care.

That’s action we can take without Congress, without the Courts – right now – and save lives.

I believe there are four essential issues that need immediate focus.

ONE. Right off the bat, we can find a way for the federal government to support doctors in EVERY state providing telehealth and mail prescriptions to patients, as well as making facilities on federal land in EVERY state available for clinicians to practice.

TWO. Those mail prescriptions are going out through the United States Postal Service, not the postal service of Alabama or Missouri. So we need to get out in front of any attempts to criminalize use of the federal postal system to deliver medication, because they will try.

THREE. We also need a centralized hub connecting patients and providers across state lines. I’m getting calls from providers up and down Illinois who are getting double and triple booked by scared patients who are grabbing every appointment they can because they’re afraid of losing all of them. There needs to be an ultra-secure navigator system for providers to communicate with each other and with patients about their options. We don’t want any appointments going to waste.

FOUR. Most importantly of all: we need federal dollars. Illinois is going to have half the country relying on us to provide abortions and reproductive health care. We fund abortions with our Medicaid dollars. But our state funds alone can’t support the demand. We need the federal government to pay for clinic upkeep, medical transport, and other associated billable items up until the abortion itself. And the federal government can provide the state with additional funding elsewhere to support our Medicaid needs.

This is a crisis and we need to treat it like one. That means acting urgently as a collective in the way this moment demands. We need to put more decision makers in a room and figure out creative ways to get to yes. I’m asking that as soon as this call ends, we work with our teams to get a concrete meeting for the coalition on the calendar. Illinois is happy to convene federal and state leaders, but I’ll go wherever it takes to get this done.