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Cardinal Cupich speaks out against House abortion bill

Thursday, Feb 16, 2017

* Tribune

Calling on parishioners to “speak for the children in the womb,” Cardinal Blase Cupich condemned legislation that would expand Illinois women’s access to abortion services.

The bill in question would eliminate a so-called “trigger” provision that would make abortion illegal in Illinois if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. It also would allow women with Medicaid and state employee health insurance to use their coverage for abortions.

The measure is a direct response from Democratic state lawmakers to Republican President Donald Trump, who has touted anti-abortion policies and said he would appoint Supreme Court justices with the goal of overturning Roe v. Wade. […]

The measure could be voted on in the House as early as Thursday. Cupich urged parishioners to ask their lawmakers to reject the bill and instead focus on passing a budget that funds “essential services.”

* From his letter

It is with some urgency that I write to you today, about a bill in our Illinois legislature, HB 40. The bill in question, if passed, would use tax dollars to pay for taking the life of a child in the womb through an abortion. There are strong indications that HB 40 could be enacted into law if we fail to act.

In addition to mandating state funding of abortion through the Medicaid program, HB 40 also calls for abortion coverage in state employees’ health care plans. It also allows for the use of tax dollars to fund grants to organizations that refer, counsel for and perform abortions, e.g., Planned Parenthood. All of these state-funded mandates are currently prohibited by Illinois law.

We have raised our voices in the past for those who have no voice, whether they be the immigrant or the refugee, the poor, or the unemployed. We now need to speak for the children in the womb, who are the weakest among us.

We need to let our elected officials know that taxpayers should not be forced to fund the taking of human life. In fact, tax money should be used to fund prenatal services for the poor and child care for working mothers, as well as expand health-care options for those in need. Please join me in advocating for all life by urging your state representative to reject HB 40 and work instead to pass a budget that funds all essential services.

The last abortion-related bill approved by the House only passed with 61 votes, all of whom were Democrats. One of those Democrats, Mike Smiddy, lost to a Republican last year.

…Adding… A group called Catholic Vote has issued a warning to Gov. Rauner

If he supports a new law to authorize taxpayer funding for abortion — Catholics will oppose him next year. This is no empty threat.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Rogue Roni - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    If only the religious right cared about the fetus after it was born

  2. - Jocko - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 9:59 am:

    Cardinal Cupich should be arguing that he doesn’t want his tax dollars going to reproductive services. Oh wait!

  3. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 10:01 am:

    Back in the day, the GA used to pass anti-abortion bills secure in the knowledge that Big Jim would veto them.

    From the NYT, nearly 40 years ago:

    -— Gov. James R. Thompson vetoed a bill today that. would have banned welfare abortions in Illinois. The Republican Governor said that the bill was “more than unfair—it is cruel.”

    The bill would discriminate against poor women, he said. If it were to become law, Mr. Thompson said, “my belief is that such women will, in many cases, attempt to terminate unwanted pregnancies in other, more desperate ways” that could lead to “needless death and suffering of mothers and children.”–

    Where is the No Social Agenda Governor on the issue?

  4. - Last Bull Moose - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 10:13 am:

    Roe v Wade had a good technical solution. Would have been great as State law. The Supreme Court decision shortcircuited the political process. That turned abortion into a canker on the American body politic. That canker has particularly damaged the Republican party.

    Would support the bill if they drop using tax monies to pay for abortions.

  5. - Arock - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 10:16 am:

    As science and medical technology have advanced in the years since Roe v Wade we know without a doubt that human life begins at conception. How the left loves science until it doesn’t fit their agenda. Taxpayer money should never go directly or indirectly for abortion.

  6. - Lucky Pierre - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 10:22 am:

    The Hyde Amendment barring federal funds for abortion has been the law of the land since 1976 and has enjoyed bipartisan support for decades.

    The 2016 platform marked the first time the Democratic platform had an explicit call to repeal the Hyde Amendment.

  7. - Saluki - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 10:23 am:

    Good for the Catholic Church.

  8. - Not It - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 10:24 am:

    This is a great use of everyone’s time and energy, a complete and total fake issue with all sorts of emotional and political entanglements. Awesome. It’s a good thing we don’t have any real problems to spend our time solving.

  9. - jimk849 - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 10:29 am:

    Rogue are you saying Cupich is far right? I think you would be far wrong.

  10. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 10:33 am:

    –How the left loves science ..–

    Life must be a breeze when you see everything with the eyes of a child — all is “left” or “right.”

    Sure cuts down on that thinking time. Hurts the brain.

    So when Cardinal Cupich goes to bat for labor rights or undocumented immigrants, is he still swinging from the “right” side of the plate?

  11. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 10:35 am:

    Umm, like a Democratic governor would support anti-abortion legislation? I don’t think so.

  12. - Ducky LaMoore - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 10:37 am:

    Hey, let’s get rid of our constitutional right to privacy with an authoritarian for a president. Good idea. /s

    ===Catholics will oppose him next year. This is no empty threat.===

    Thanks for speaking for all Catholics. I don’t think there is anything he can do to get this one’s vote. But thanks for playing.

  13. - illinifan - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 10:42 am:

    Cupich is one voice, and yes a powerful voice. But he represents one view point. I think as this moves forward we need to remember that the ultimate choice is the woman’s (and hopefully the father’s) choice. There are many reasons a woman seeks to have an abortion. Data for science lovers here shows as access to birth control methods increases abortion decreases. If we really want to solve this matter, we need to include expansion of birth control services.

  14. - DHS Jim - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    Anyone who takes votes away from Rauner is my friend.

  15. - Ahoy! - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 10:50 am:

    –If he supports a new law to authorize taxpayer funding for abortion — Catholics will oppose him next year. This is no empty threat.–

    Most Catholics I know disagree with the Church on this issue and the “leaders” of the church (who are all men) are way more conservative than the rank and file on this issue.

  16. - Delimma - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 10:59 am:

    Does this mean the Catholic Church is abdicating its tax exempt status? If so, that’s a huge pile of money the state needs.

  17. - NorthsideNoMore - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    Why is it so difficult for so many to understand that many do not want there tax dollars being spent on others life style choices? Actions have consequences, live with it, own it, but don’t ask me to pay for it.

  18. - Blue dog dem - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 11:33 am: might want to check on that ‘most Catholics’ quote of yours. Better yet , look up ‘voting Catholics”.

  19. - illinifan - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 11:41 am:

    “Northside” -Why is it so difficult for so many to understand that many do not want there tax dollars being spent on others life style choices? Actions have consequences, live with it, own it, but don’t ask me to pay for it.-

    The government, insurers etc. always lays out money for lifestyle choices. Why should I pay extra in my insurance for a man to obtain viagra (that is not a right but most insurance covers this medication), why should I pay for a DNR to post information on hunting since that is a life style choice. Bottom line we all pay for something we don’t agree with. And by the way a woman having an abortion is not a “lifestyle” choice. Any woman who has had one has agonized over a decision that affects them for the rest of their lives. It is not an easy decision for any human being to make.

  20. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 11:47 am:

    ==Would support the bill if they drop using tax monies to pay for abortions.==

    You hear this a lot from people. I am Pro Life, and I wouldn’t support the bill generally. But, mandating public funds to pay for this, especially when this state is eliminating so many other Medicaid services and procedures is beyond reasonable.

  21. - Duh2 - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 11:57 am:

    ** If we really want to solve this matter, we need to include expansion of birth control services. **

    Birth control for either sex is already either dirt cheap or free, what’s next, drive up windows and hospitality bowls ?

  22. - Jane A. - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 12:13 pm:

    Not a Catholic. Like science. Wish there was no reason ever to need abortion. Agree with Illinifan that easier access to contraception has been shown to reduce abortion rates.

    Therefore, when Catholic leadership supports choice regarding birth control, I’ll know that they have become truly serious about reducing abortion. (It could never be ended completely owing to issues of mother’s health, rape, and so forth.) Right now, from the outside, their stance just looks like a desire to exert power by regulating women’s bodies–and their legal rights regarding healthcare.

    Taxpayers helping pay for insurance and insurance-covered health services is a different, extremely complex discussion, to my mind.

  23. - Cleric Dcn - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 12:23 pm:

    All of the murders and death of violence in Chicago the past year. It all starts somewhere and this is the example. Until we start to see human life as different from all other matter, we will fail. Not only should abortion be stopped we need to do more to make life better for all after the child is born.

  24. - Amalia - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 12:23 pm:

    what Jane A. said! birth control pills and infertility treatments like in vitro fertilization are not fine with the RC Church. women should be able to control the process to have children!

    and if you are against this bill Gov, pro choice people will not forget. we have to protect rights in this state as the nightmare in DC progresses. Pro choice or you are no choice.

  25. - Southside Markie - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 12:27 pm:

    Dems lost Smiddy but might make it up with Deluca who is listed as NV on the last abortion-related bill.

  26. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 12:29 pm:

    – might want to check on that ‘most Catholics’ quote of yours. Better yet , look up ‘voting Catholics”.–

    Take your own advice and observe the split between pro-choice and anti-abortion candidates. Hardly a monolith.

  27. - Mad Brown - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 1:02 pm:

    There are 15 million children living in poverty, and over a half million are in foster care in the US. Let’s talk about those children, and how they are being cared for.

  28. - A guy - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 1:22 pm:

    Sorry. 11:47 was me.

  29. - blue dog dem - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    Word. My point exactly.

  30. - Been There - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 1:25 pm:

    ===Dems lost Smiddy but might make it up with Deluca who is listed as NV on the last abortion-related bill.===
    Dunkin voted no so that will probably change.

  31. - Mokenavince - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 1:58 pm:

    I’m a woman’s choice guy. As long as its the law of the land I’m OK.

  32. - Here We Go Again - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 4:13 pm:

    What a surprise, the Catholic Church, which is controlled exclusively by men, many of whom are sexual predators, treats women like 3rd class citizens, again steps up to tell women they can’t use birth control, opposes sex education so the can better prevent pregnancy, opposes IVF treatments, opposes marriage equality, now thinks it knows best how women should plan their families in a responsible manner by claiming a fertilized egg is magically a full human being. Women have had abortions since the beginning of time and will continue to do so. The only issue is whether they suffer and die from illegal abortions. And what happened to separation of church and state?

  33. - denideni - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 5:08 pm:

    So Arock that fetus upon conception can jump right out of the womb and you will take care of it if I can’t???????????

  34. - justacitizen - Thursday, Feb 16, 17 @ 8:33 pm:

    ===Most Catholics I know disagree with the Church on this issue and the “leaders” of the church (who are all men) are way more conservative than the rank and file on this issue.===

    I don’t know any participating Catholics that are pro-abortion.

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