Morrison looks to Rauner to prevent publicly funded abortions
Rep. Thomas Morrison (R-Palatine) is counting on Gov. Bruce Rauner to be true to his word on House Bill 40.
The bill, which passed the Senate on May 10 after House passage in April, is intended to prevent Illinois from reverting to a criminalization of abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn its landmark Roe v. Wade decision.
Rauner has vowed to veto the bill.
Morrison said he has many reasons for wanting that veto, but chief among them is that the measure would force taxpayers to fund abortions in all instances for Medicaid recipients and state employees, even in the case of sex-selection procedures.
“I think most find that reason for having an abortion reprehensible,” Morrison told the North Cook News. “But with this bill, we as taxpayers would be forced to cover even those costs.”
Rauner has done something of a turnabout on the issue, having campaigned as a pro-choice candidate in 2014.
“I am grateful that the governor has kept an open mind and listened to good counsel,” Morrison said.
Rauner and Morrison appear to have public sentiment on their side, with a series of recent public opinion polls finding that most Americans are opposed to the prospect of publicly funded abortions.
A Marist Institute survey found that 61 percent of all respondents are in opposition, including 40 percent who identified themselves as pro-choice.
Currently, 15 states fund elective abortions for Medicaid participants, 11 of which are acting on the orders of the court, not the legislature.
“No one should be forced to pay for something they don’t won’t,” Morrison said. “And this bill would compel all taxpayers to do just that.”
Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) crafted the bill, but she has acknowledged that it was at least partly motivated by what’s happening in Washington.
"After repeated threats from the White House and President (Donald) Trump's remarks to strip abortion rights away from women, this legislation was necessary to safeguard a woman's right to make decisions that affect her personal health in Illinois," she said.
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