FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 25, 2017 (CHICAGO) Today, House Bill 40 is being sent to Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk to be either signed or vetoed. Through Illinois taxpayer funding, this bill will provide free abortions for those on Medicaid and State employees for any reason.
Last April, Governor Rauner publicly promised that he would veto HB40 should it reach his desk. Recent polling has shown that a majority of Illinoisans, pro-choice and pro-life, do not support taxpayer funding of abortion. According to his spokesperson, he realizes there are sharp divisions of opinion over this issue in our state and does not support the bill. However, according to recent reports, the Governor is now wavering on his promise.
“If Governor Bruce Rauner signs HB40, he will be publicly repudiated by pro-lifers throughout the entire state of Illinois,” said Rosemary Hackett, President of Illinois Right to Life.
“He promised to veto this horrendous legislation, which would force all Illinois taxpayers to pay for free abortions for those on Medicaid and state employees, which can be done through all nine months of pregnancy and for any reason – even when the unborn child can feel pain and survive outside the womb. Illinois Right to Life, alongside Illinois citizens who do not want their tax dollars going toward the, poisoning, dismemberment, and killing of unborn children in abortion, urge Governor Rauner to hold true to his promise and veto HB 40.”
For approximately 36 years, it has been the policy of Illinois that its citizens should not be required to pay for other people’s abortions. Under current law, Medicaid covers abortions for those in the cases of rape, incest, and when the health or life of the mother is deemed to be at risk. House Bill 40 dramatically expands the Medicaid coverage for abortions, providing free abortions for any reason.
While the number of abortions across the country is steadily declining, abortions in Illinois rose last year by 3.5% to nearly 40,000 abortions a year. Based on data from the last time Medicaid covered abortion on-demand, HB 40 will increase the number of abortions by potentially thousands every year.
It has been argued that HB40 is about keeping abortion legal in Illinois. Bill proponents say that if Roe v. Wade is overturned, abortion would become illegal in Illinois. However, The Chicago Tribune reported in 2017, 2006, and 1991, that their editorial board, the ACLU, a local Judge, and the Illinois Legislative Research Unit for the General Assembly all agree: abortion would remain legal in Illinois should Roe v. Wade be overturned in the U.S. Supreme Court.
HB40 is extreme legislation with the sole purpose to expand abortion in Illinois at taxpayers’ expense. We thank Governor Rauner for his promise to veto this bill, and we are expecting him to keep it.
For the current Illinois law regarding Medicaid funding of abortions, visit:
For the number of abortions performed last year in Illinois, visit: http://www.dph.illinois.gov/sites/default/files/publications/opps-abortion-statsrept-2015-121516.pdf
For reports from the Chicago Tribune regarding abortion remaining legal in Illinois, visit:
Illinois Right to Life Action is the state’s go-to organization for pro-life lobbying and information on defeating pro-abortion bills. We are highly trusted by pro-life political leaders and citizens alike to be their life affirming voice in the Illinois General Assembly.