Activists on both sides of abortion battle demonstrate in suburbs
People on both sides of the abortion fight commandeered parks, sidewalks and other public venues Friday across Chicago and the suburbs to celebrate -- or protest -- the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling.
About 30 abortion foes gathered at the Rita Mullins Volunteer Plaza at the corner of Northwest Highway and Hicks Road in Palatine midday Friday to rejoice over the court's decision.
With Christian pop music playing over a portable public address system, they waved signs at passing cars with slogans such as "Honk against abortion" -- and they cheered when the drivers obliged.
Rally organizer Maria Goldstein, a Rolling Meadows resident and the co-founder of Northwest Families for Life, said the court's ruling gave her and other anti-abortion activists hope that more pregnant women will make decisions "that will give life, not take life."
Not all the drivers who passed the demonstrators agreed with their cause, as the Rev. Calvin Lindstrom of Christian Liberty Academy noted in a group prayer.
"We thank you for the honks of approval today and even the fingers raised," Lindstrom said.
The Palatine rally was one of many in the suburbs -- both for and against the ruling.
Anti-abortion demonstrators also were scheduled to gather Friday in Chicago, Downers Grove, Highland Park, Woodstock and elsewhere. Abortion-rights supporters assembled in Chicago, Arlington Heights, Aurora and other suburbs.
In Wheaton, more than 130 people rallied in support of abortion rights. State Rep. Terra Costa Howard, a Glen Ellyn Democrat, was among those who spoke to the crowd.
"It's not just a women's issue," she said of abortion. "It's a family issue. It's a people issue. It's a human being issue."
"Today, the Supreme Court said, 'We don't care,'" Costa Howard added. "It's absolutely devastating to watch them disregard precedent."
Dressed in the red cape and white hat of "The Handmaid's Tale," a book and television series about women forced to bear children for others, organizer Jax West of Lisle spoke of the importance of suburban rallies as well as those in Chicago.
"People in the suburbs don't always get this opportunity," said West, of Illinois Handmaids.
Illinois NOW President Laura Welsh attended the Naperville protest.
"Over 350 pro-choice people showed up in Naperville to protest the horrific SCOTUS decision," she said after the rally. "Next, every single one of them who can will vote. Our legislators need to wake up and hear our anger.
"Suburban women turned the 'burbs a beautiful shade of purple. But we're aiming for blue."