Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker is launching an advocacy group to promote abortion rights across the country, seeking to soften the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe v. Wade and raise the issue that galvanized Democrats in the election.
Mr. Pritzker, who was easily re-elected last year, did not say how much of his money he would invest in the new organization, but it is worth billions of dollars. The new organization, Think Big America, will help fund state ballot measures — usually expensive undertakings — to codify abortion rights in states whose legislatures have passed or may pass abortion bans. Voters have consistently supported such measures since the court struck down the constitutional right to abortion last year, approving them in every state where they have been offered and, conversely, rejecting abortion restrictions in every state where they have been proposed.
One such measure will be on the Ohio ballot next month: a constitutional amendment that would establish the right to abortion, contraception, infertility treatment and abortion care. Ohio has a six-week abortion ban on the books that isn’t currently in effect due to a legal dispute, but it could go into effect if the state Supreme Court allows it.
Efforts are underway to put similar measures on the ballot in Arizona, Florida and Nevada next year.
A spokeswoman for Think Big America said the group is providing “financial and strategic support” to campaigns in Ohio, Arizona and Nevada, including placing members on advisory boards, helping with message development and polling analysis. She added that she is also willing to help with direct contact with voters and, if applicable, legal challenges.
The creation of the organization was first reported by The 19th.
Mr. Pritzker is widely seen as a future presidential candidate, and — like another possible White House contender, California Governor Gavin Newsom — has touted his state as an oasis of Republican politics and an emblem of Democratic rule.
U video on Wednesday, Mr. Pritzker condemned the abortion ban, but also singled out Republican efforts to restrict voting and ban some books about race and gender from school curricula and libraries — suggesting his organization may eventually focus on those issues as well.
“Over the last few years, the far-right agenda has only become more extreme,” he said. “The end of reproductive rights, the widespread banning of books, the rollback of voting rights and civil rights, the erosion of trust in our institutions – these will be our permanent reality if we don’t act now.”