Illinois Right to Life Denounces Rauner Action on HB40

Governor’s Broken Promise Draws Ire from Pro-Life Community

Contact: Tom Ciesielka, 312.422.1333, [email protected]

(September 28, 2017 – Chicago) Today, Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner broke his promise to not sign House Bill 40. This bill will force taxpayers to cover the cost of providing free abortions for those on Medicaid and for state employees.

“We are absolutely devastated and heartbroken that our Governor went back on his promise and signed the extremely out-of-touch, abortion-expanding bill, HB40,” said Rosemary Hackett, President of Illinois Right to Life.

“Right now, Illinois Right to Life and pro-life advocates throughout Illinois can only feel betrayed and deeply saddened for the thousands of additional unborn babies’ lives that will be lost each year because of Governor Rauner’s action. We are beyond disappointed that our governor is willing to ignore the voices of his state’s citizens and every member of his political party, and expand abortion in Illinois at taxpayer expense.”

Once it becomes law, HB40 will force every Illinoisan to pay for free abortions for those on Medicaid and state employee health insurance, through the full nine months of pregnancy and for any reason, even when the latest scientific research has shown that the unborn child can feel pain and survive outside the womb.

Last April, Rauner promised that he would veto HB40, saying he recognized that there were sharp divisions of opinion over taxpayer funding of abortion in Illinois. He also promised during his 2014 campaign that he would “have no social agenda.” In signing HB40, Governor Rauner has directly gone back on his promises.

It has long been the policy of the state of Illinois, like the majority of other states in America, that its citizens should not be required to pay for other people’s abortions. Illinois’ current Medicaid program covers abortions in the rare cases of rape, incest, and when there is a threat to the health and life of the mother. In its current form, HB40 expands the Medicaid coverage to abortions for any reason.

By signing this bill, it is projected that 12,000 or more additional babies will be aborted every year. This is based on data from the last period during which there was unrestricted Medicaid funding of abortions in Illinois. That will add to the 39,856 abortions per year already performed in Illinois.

There is no cap on the number of abortions that could be covered under Medicaid and no cap on the amount of taxpayer dollars spent on these procedures. Based on figures from the last time Illinoisans financed unrestricted Medicaid funded abortions, at the current rate, state government spending could range anywhere from $1.8 million to $21 million.

According to political analysts, Rauner will be the first governor in the country to initiate state taxpayer funding of abortion. This bill was deemed so extreme that every Republican member of the General Assembly voted against it, as did several Democrats.

“With a swipe of his pen, the Governor has begun to change the character of Illinois and potentially America,” added Hackett. “Those who oppose abortion do so because science says abortion ends the life of an unborn child – something no American should have to pay for. Our country does not take pride in abortion, celebrate it, or work to increase them. Illinois is poised to be the first state in the country to unravel it all.”

Contact Regina D’Amico, [email protected], 312.422.9300, with questions or to request an interview.