Rep. Ann Williams Discusses Reproductive Health, Gun Violence Prevention, and Ballot Access on Joan Esposito’s “Live, Local, and Progressive

On August 3, 2022, Representative Ann Williams joined Joan Esposito’s Live, Local, and Progressive radio show to discus abortion care, gun violence prevention and ballot access. 

Esposito inquired about Williams’s recent appointment to the ‘Illinois House Reproductive Health and Dobbs Decision Working Group’. Esposito acknowledged the inevitable influx of abortion seekers from outside states and questioned how the Representative expected to receive them. 

“Illinois has been poised to handle more abortions that we anticipated following the [Dobbs] decision…the numbers are high, as you referenced. Thankfully we have passed two very strong laws in recent years to make sure we kept our right to abortion safe and legal here in Illinois. We were ready as a state but we certainly have work to do when it comes to providing access to abortion care services.”

Esposito then asked about Governor Pritzker’s expressed concern for healthcare providers. 

“We want to ensure that pharmacists, practitioners, or other medical professionals that have licenses in multiple states are protected even if problems arise in states outside of Illinois. […] And when it comes to abortion, there’s such a shortage of providers already. It’s important to look at how we can increase that pool and therefore increase access.”

The radio show host then acknowledged the ever-increasing public pressure to enact stricter gun laws, especially in the wake of the Highland Park tragedy. Esposito asked Williams’s thoughts on the likelihood of a statewide assault rifle ban.

“If all goes well, I think we may get it done this time. It is so hard to explain to opponents why a regular citizen can easily go to a gun store or any arms dealer and get a military-grade weapon…it is hard to craft an argument for why [assault rifle regulation] legislation shouldn’t pass.”

Esposito and Williams wrapped up the show by sharing some quick thoughts on the recent census. The two discussed the importance of knowing one’s public officials and staying informed on representative issues. The host asked Rep. Williams to share some of her specific issues and what she prioritizes in office.

“Of course my primary concerns are maintaining safe access to abortion and preventing gun violence; that is something I think we can all agree on.” In terms of Williams’s personal platform, “When I was first running in 2010, there wasn’t a lot of conversation surrounding the climate crisis. I am prioritizing the transition to clean, sustainable energy and the reduction of carbon emissions.” Rep. Williams continues to advocate for clean energy and applies pressure on big corporations to implement her work done on CEJA.

You can listen to the recording HERE.

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