You’ll never believe what our state representatives are trying to push into law. The legislation is ready to be called for vote in the House, at any time. The bill is HB 40, and if we don’t act now, it could soon be on its way to the Governor’s desk.
But what’s so dangerous about this legislation?
Well, we read through the full text of the bill, and what we found left us stunned. There’s more to it than meets the eye. From beginning to end, here are…
The 6 Most Shocking Things about HB 40
1. It makes abortion a “health benefit” for state employees, paid for by you.
The State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971 (amended in 1980) provides that the program of health benefits for state employees will cover expenses for dental services, prescription drugs, hearing evaluations, hearing aids, outpatient diagnostic x-rays, and laboratory tests. It specifically states that abortions will not be included in this benefit package, unless the procedure is necessary for “the preservation of the life of the woman.” A court ruling following the enactment of this legislation expanded this abortion coverage to rare cases of rape, incest, and danger to the health of the woman. But HB 40 strikes this language completely, making abortions – for any reason – a “health benefit,” paid for with your tax dollars.
2. It forces Illinoisans to cover the cost of abortions for those on Medicaid, done for any reason during all nine months of pregnancy.
Currently, the Illinois Medicaid program covers costs for “medically necessary” abortions or those performed in cases of rape, incest, or danger to the life of the mother. According to the Illinois Public Aid Code, coverage is not to be extended to abortions done for any other reason. HB 40, however, removes this language. It also removes the portion the code that requires a written statement from the physician to support the patients’ claim for coverage of the procedure. By doing this, HB 40 gives Medicaid coverage to all abortions, including those done for convenience and birth control.
In Illinois, there are virtually no restrictions on abortion. Current state law prohibits abortion after viability of the child, which is around 24 weeks. However, in addition to cases of rape, incest, and preservation of the life of the woman, abortion for the sake of the “health” of the woman is also an exception. The impact which the continuation of a woman’s pregnancy has on her health is left to her doctor’s discretion. In the case Doe vs. Bolton, the Supreme Court defined health as “all factors – physical, emotional, psychological, familial, and the woman’s age – relevant to the well-being of the patient.” The wide interpretation of the term “health” makes it possible for an abortion to be performed at any time, through all nine months of pregnancy. Hence, your tax dollars could be used to pay for abortions, done for any reason, when the child’s heart is beating, when he or she can feel the pain of being dismembered, and even when the child can survive outside the womb.
3. It removes language protecting women from abortion doctors with a criminal history against women.
Illinois Public Aid Code states:
“The Illinois Department, by rule, shall prohibit any physician from providing medical assistance to anyone eligible therefore under this Code where such physician has been found guilty of performing an abortion procedure in a willful and wanton manner upon a woman who was not pregnant at the time such abortion procedure was performed.”
What does HB 40 do?
You guessed it – it scraps this language too. HB 40 would now make it possible for abortion providers, who have committed horrendous acts against women – like intentionally performing an abortion on a woman who is not pregnant – to continue to do business with the Medicaid program and receive state funding for their work. What could be a more obvious example of complete disregard the safety and well-being of women?
4. It allows state grants to go to organizations that refer for, counsel for, or provide abortions.
According to the current text of the Problem Pregnancy Health Services and Care Act, the Illinois Department is allowed to make grants to non-profit agencies and organizations that provide certain medical services and treatments. However, it specifically states that grants cannot be sent to organizations that refer for, counsel for, or perform abortions.
HB 40 strikes this restriction, allowing taxpayer funded state grants to be sent to abortion providers and other organizations in Illinois that not only provide abortions but also encourage and refer women for abortions. This is just another way to push Illinoisans into funding the abortion business.
5. It trashes the longstanding policy of Illinois to recognize the unborn child as a human being.
“The General Assembly of the State of Illinois do solemnly declare and find in reaffirmation of the longstanding policy of this State, that the unborn child is a human being from the time of conception and is, therefore, a legal person for purposes of the unborn child’s right to life and is entitled to the right to life from conception under the laws and Constitution of this State.”
This declaration is part of the first section of the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, and HB 40 throws it entirely out. In 1975, the General Assembly made clear that the State recognized the unborn child as a human being, and since then, science and medicine have done nothing less than continue to prove this to be true. Currently, Illinois has three state laws that also rely on this definition. These laws recognize the death of an unborn child as a homicide if the mother is murdered or killed in motor vehicle accident.
If legislators are moving to remove this language, we have to ask ourselves: as a people, and as State, what are we trying to say? What message are we sending to our citizens who choose to live here? That we don’t recognize the scientifically proven humanity of the unborn child anymore?
6. It poses an unpredictable financial burden to the State.
Just last week, these two very important notes were filed and recorded on the bill. Here they are:
Balanced Budget Note (Office of Management and Budget)
An accurate cost assessment for this bill cannot be completed at this time because it does not mandate the State to fund these services. However, by removing these prohibitions it opens the State up for significant cost liabilities to incur. It is unknown how often these services would be utilized by Medicaid enrollees or State employees, the exact cost to health insurance plans, or how many new grant requests the Department of Human Services would receive as a response to this, and future related legislation.
Fiscal Note (Dept. of Healthcare & Family Services)
The estimated annual cost for abortion services resulting from House Bill 40 is approximately $1.8 million, which would be 100% GRF funded. There may be other budgetary impacts that are not quantifiable.
Both the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of Healthcare & Family Services agree that the realistic costs and budgetary impacts of this bill on the State are “unknown” and “not quantifiable.” But we can say that expenses will be 100% taken care of by the General Revenue Fund (GRF) – a.k.a. your tax dollars.
With HB 40, there is no cap to the number of abortions that could be covered by Medicaid, and essentially no cap to the amount of taxpayer dollars spent. The last time Illinoisans paid for unrestricted Medicaid funded abortions was in the late ’70s, when approximately 12,738 abortions were paid for by Medicaid at a cost of over $1.8 million ($1,876,837). If we revert back to this, we could be looking at an additional 12,000 abortions per year that the state would pay for.
What’s hidden in the text of HB 40 is astounding, and the ramifications of this legislation may be more than you expected. This ridiculous policy will increase abortion numbers, expand abortion coverage at taxpayers’ expense, and likely change the cultural and legal foundation of our state.
We need you to tell your state representative right now to vote NO on this HB40, so we can put a stop to this radical legislation once and for all. To find your state legislator, visit the link here.