Local, state leaders, activists respond to decision to overturn Roe V. Wade

ROCKFORD — Reaction to Friday's historic decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn Roe V. Wade wasn't limited to lawmakers.

Throughout the day, elected officials, activists and organizations across the Rock River Valley offered their thoughts through news releases and social media.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara reacted to the decision on Twitter, posting a photo of his daughter along with a message of disappointment.

McNamara said the supreme court decision was "absolutely reprehensible."

"A scary world that we are ripping rights away from women," McNamara wrote on Twitter. "This beauty lives in a different world than her amazing mother grew up in. Reproductive rights are human rights. Let’s take the fight to the ballot boxes. Enough."

More: Rockford-area lawmakers respond to Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade

Kevin Rilott, president of the Rockford Family Initiative, said in a release that he is celebrating the decision, but doesn't expect Illinois to be among states that outlaw or restrict abortion.

“Roe v. Wade has been an open wound in our body politic ever since the day it was decided more than 49 years ago,” Rilott wrote on the organization's Facebook page. “But today the healing can finally begin, starting with state laws that protect human life in the womb and provide help and hope for their mothers. Today, we celebrate this historic decision. ... We will continue fighting, using every peaceful and legal means, for the complete abolition of abortion in our state."

Rockford Bishop David Malloy also released a statement Friday.

"By overturning Roe v. Wade, the supreme court has recognized the flawed legal reasoning that removed that discussion from the legislative bodies elected by the voters," Malloy said. "Today’s decision now returns the abortion debate to each state’s legislative body. That legislative process will continue and, as people committed to human rights and the protections for both those not yet born and for expectant mothers, we need to engage our representatives by persuasion and by our votes."

Planned Parenthood Illinois Action held a press conference Friday attended by Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, Alicia Hurtado with the Chicago Abortion Fund, Illinois State Senator Melinda Bush and Illinois State Representative Kelly Cassidy.

“Planned Parenthood Illinois Action is outraged the Supreme Court has discarded 50 years of precedent and stripped away the constitutional right to abortion, robbing people of their power to control their bodies, their lives, and their futures for generations to come," Jennifer Welch, the organizations president and CEO, said in a new release. "It is shameful that the court is ignoring the majority of people in this country who believe that abortion should remain safe and legal.”

Rockford Register Star reporters Jeff Kolkey and Jim Hagerty contributed to this report.

This article originally appeared on Rockford Register Star: Rockford, state leaders respond to decision to overturn Roe V. Wade