BECAUSE YOU SHOULD KNOW: Mayor Lori Lightfoot Is Making Chicago A ‘Safe Haven’ For Women Seeking Abortion

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Roe V. Wade might be on the cusp of eradication if the Supreme Court votes to strike down the historic decision, but according to Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Chicago will be an “oasis” for women seeking to access abortion care and other reproductive services.

On May 9, Lightfoot announced the Windy City would set aside $500,000 to help increase abortion services for residents, as part of her “Justice for All Pledge” initiative.

“We are ready to fight,” Lightfoot told a sea of reporters during a news conference on Monday, the Washington Post noted. “We are ready to organize. We are ready to do whatever it takes. We will not stand idly by and watch our rights disappear like smoke.”

On Twitter, Lightfoot doubled down on her commitment to creating a safe place for women, noting in a statement that the pledge would protect “access to obstetric and gynecological healthcare” regardless of the patient’s age, sex, socio-economic status or place of residence.

“This means we must create & maintain in Chicago a safe haven for all who are unjustly denied the rights, privileges, immunities, resources & opportunities they deserve as human beings & residents of our city & country,” the Democrat’s tweet added.

Mayor Lightfoot is getting “ready” to help women from outlawed states

If Roe V. Wade is overturned, 28 states could ban or place tight restrictions on abortions in the next few months. During an interview with MSNBC’s Hallie Jackson, Lightfoot said she was anticipating a number of women from states with “trigger laws” that would immediately dismantle abortion rights if Roe is struck down, to seek refuge in Chicago for treatment.

“We’re expecting, frankly, an explosion of new cases from women in Wisconsin, Missouri, potentially Michigan, and Indiana. I think the list is long. And Chicago is going to be an oasis…. we’ve got to be ready,” the politician said. “This is a start and not an ending, but it is absolutely a time for us to rally together and make sure that we are reunited and not turning back the clock on women’s lives.”

Some women fear what will happen in a post-Roe World

Are you using a period tracker to stay on top of your cycle? Lawyer, author and attorney Elizabeth McLaughlin sparked a heated debate online earlier this month warning those using period apps to “get off ” and “delete” their data immediately.

“If you think that your data showing when you last menstruated isn’t of interest to those who are about to outlaw abortion, whew do I have a wakeup call for YOU,” she posted in a follow up tweet.

Most period trackers ask for basic info from their users when signing up including their name and birthdate. Some apps even give women the option to record if they’re experiencing any symptoms of pregnancy, menstrual flow irregularities, and how often they are sexually active, but who’s on the receiving end of that data?

Normally, apps sell data to third-party advertising companies to help draw up more targeted ads that would be of interest to us. For example, if an app knows you like pizza, advertising companies may push more ads centered on pizza to your device. However, McLaughlin warned that if Roe V. Wade is struck down, app companies might be forced into selling that information to government officials or even authorities to potentially prosecute women who illegally obtain an abortion in outlawed states–and it could all be done by issuing a quick court subpoena.

It sounds extreme, but it could be a grim reality ahead. When you really think about it, it isn’t very far-fetched either. App data would be able to trace when you’re pregnant and alert officials if you were experiencing pregnancy symptoms before an abortion. Slate notes that some apps like Flo ask if users smoke which could “be of interest to a prosecutor trying to charge someone with endangering a fetus.”

While the leaked Supreme Court draft decision certainly is alarming, the decision on whether to overturn Roe won’t be finalized until the case is completely over. Analysts believe the court case will most likely occur sometime within the next two months.

RELATED CONTENT: Did The Supreme Court Just Vote To Overturn Roe V. Wade?

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