Texas Abortion Law – A Struggle for Reproductive Rights

Many families are concerned about the impact of the recent Texas Abortion Law known as SB8, and the future of reproductive rights across the country. Plan to attend to hear from two authority figures on this subject. This webinar will be simulcast on the KCDW Facebook page for public viewing on Wednesday, September 29, 2021 at 6:30pm.

The September 29 KCDW monthly meeting gives members and guests the opportunity to hear two speakers dealing with important issues in women’s rights for equality. The speakers include former Il State Representative for the 65th District, Steven Andersson, and Director of Government Relations and Lobbyist for Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Brigid Leahy. Both presenters will speak about the Texas abortion law, known as SB8, and its impact on women’s healthcare and reproductive rights.

Republican Steven Andersson is a lawyer and a politician who is willing to compromise and work across the aisle with Democrats for programs that benefit the communities he serves. As a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 2015-2019, he led a movement to end a budget impasse that affected the most impoverished people in our state. He was willing to risk his position to go against his own party and a Republican governor to end the budget crisis. In 2019, Governor J.B. Pritzker appointed Andersson to the Illinois Human Rights Commission. In 2020 following that appointment, Steven was the Chief Republican Sponsor of the Equal Rights Amendment. He ensured that the amendment was passed, which made Illinois the 37th state to pass the amendment. Since 2020, Steven has traveled throughout the U.S. advocating for support for the amendment in additional states. Currently, he is President of Momentum Consulting Group, an Illinois based consulting government firm. He also serves as a Precinct Committee person for the Republican Party and as a trustee on the Geneva Library Board. He advocates for sustainable environmental activities.

Brigid Leahy graduated from Knox College with a double major in “history” and “race and gender.” She did post graduate work in American studies at the University of Minnesota. This was followed by a legislative internship and positions at the Illinois Environmental Regulatory Group and the Illinois Caucus for Adolescent Health. These positions prepared her for her career at Planned Parenthood, which began in 1993. As a lobbyist for Planned Parenthood, Brigid has worked on numerous successful campaigns for expansion to access for reproductive healthcare, including passage of the Reproductive Health Act, repealing the bans on coverage of abortion in Medicaid and state employee health insurance, as well as passage of the Illinois contraceptive coverage law. Daily, she serves as a liaison to state government officials on matters involving women’s rights and healthcare issues. This includes researching and drafting legislation and preparing and delivering committee testimony. Most importantly, she ensures that the rights of patients who are refused healthcare for religious or moral reasons are protected.