We Talked Politics!

This past Thursday, May 25, in Gurnee, Lake County Democrats along with Warren Dems co-sponsored the latest edition of the Tenth Dems University (TDU) Let’s Talk Politics series. This free event focused on reproductive rights, the recent Supreme Court Dobbs decision (which overturned Roe v. Wade), and the impact of states taking matters into their own hands.

TDU Dean Laurie Schiller led the meeting and opened the floor to attendees by asking how people felt when the Dobbs decision was announced. Many voiced their concerns, outrage, and personal stories about how the decision affected them.

Meaghan Murphy, Chief of Staff for Personal PAC, also participated in the discussion. Personal PAC is a non-partisan statewide political action committee committed solely to electing pro-choice politicians in Illinois. Meaghan spoke about Personal PAC’s efforts to stop the Danville, IL, City Council from passing an ordinance exempting itself from the Reproductive Health Act (RHA), noting that the overwhelming majority of voters support abortion rights. She also mentioned that HB3326 passed the Illinois Senate on May 24th and is headed to the Governor. Under this bill, information from automated license plate readers can’t be used to track individuals seeking abortion care or a person’s immigration status.

Men4Choice co-founder and Vice-Chair Oren Jacobson attended and joined the conversation. Men4Choice launched in Illinois in 2015 to educate and organize male allies in the fight for reproductive freedom. After successfully training and educating thousands of male allies in Illinois, helping pass multiple pieces of progressive legislation and expanding pro-choice support across the state, Men4Choice has recently extended their outreach into Georgia and Florida.

Oren talked about past and present legislation Men4Choice helped pass, including HB40 in 2017, which repealed a dangerous “trigger” law that would have automatically banned abortion in Illinois if the U.S. Supreme Court rolled back Roe v. Wade, thereby confirming that abortion will remain legal in Illinois. Other important bills Men4Choice backed were SB25, also called the RHA in 2019, and in 2021 HB370 which repealed the state’s Parental Notice of Abortion Act.

This well-attended and engaging Let’s Talk Politics provoked passionate discussion on the fight for reproductive rights. We are grateful to Oren and Meaghan for their willingness to share their expertise with the group, as well as the participation of the many Democrats who attended.

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