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*** UPDATED x5 - Biss responds - Cassidy responds - Kennedy responds - Caprio responds - Pritzker responds *** Rauner opposes abortion bill

Friday, Apr 14, 2017

* AP

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner is opposing legislation that would allow the state to cover abortions for its employees and Medicaid recipients. […]

The legislation is sponsored by Democratic Rep. Sara Feigenholtz. She says the measure would protect women’s access to abortions in Illinois if federal law legalizing the procedure is overturned. It also would remove prohibitions on state employee health insurance and Medicaid funds from covering the procedure.

Rauner has signed previous legislation expanding access to birth control and requiring physicians who refuse to perform abortions to inform patients where they can go instead.

* From Rauner’s spokesperson Eleni Demertzis…

“Governor Rauner is committed to protecting women’s reproductive rights under current Illinois law. However, recognizing the sharp divisions of opinion of taxpayer funding of abortion, he does not support HB40.”

The legislation is here. Medicaid money is already used at Cook County Hospital for abortions, and most non-state university and local government health insurance policies also cover it in Chicago.

But the governor was getting tremendous heat from his right flank on this bill and he needs to keep them together through this impasse.

…Adding… Illinois Review

[State Rep. David McSweeney (R-Barrington)] called on the governor to make his position clear earlier this week, saying whether Illinois becomes one of the few states where taxpayers pay for abortions for any reason could rest in the hands of Governor Bruce Rauner - even before the bill made it to his desk.

“If Governor Rauner makes his intentions known before HB 40 is called, there’s a very good chance that the bill will not pass the House,” McSweeney told Illinois Review Wednesday.

“I’ve talked to several Democrats that tell me they are torn on the issue, and if the governor said he was going to veto the measure, I’m fairly certain it wouldn’t get the 60 they need to pass it.” […]

McSweeney said he was expecting pro-abortion lawmakers to call the vote on the floor April 25th, when a “Women’s March” was being planned on the State Capitol.

“The vote was very close at last count,” McSweeney said. “This is very good news that the governor has announced he will veto HB 40 if it gets to his desk. I’m very happy he’s made his position clear.”

*** UPDATE 1 ***  Press release…

Today, JB Pritzker released the following statement on Governor Rauner’s plan to veto HB40, which would cover abortions for women on state employee health insurance and Medicaid, and would remove a “trigger provision” that would make abortions illegal if Roe v. Wade was overturned.

“Bruce Rauner should be ashamed of himself. No pro-choice governor would take this position and restrict access to these critical services for Illinois women,” said JB Pritzker. “Rauner is proving yet again that he not only shares an extreme agenda with Donald Trump, but also lied to voters when he claimed that he cares about a woman’s right to choose. This decision is deeply hurtful to me and to women across this state. I have been fighting to protect women’s healthcare and reproductive rights my whole life and will do the same as Illinois’ next governor.”

*** UPDATE 2 *** Press release from Rep. Tom Morrison…

“I am pleased Governor Rauner has chosen to veto HB 40 should it come to his desk. The Democrat lawmakers behind this initiative want to force Illinois taxpayers to pay for elective abortions through all 9 months of pregnancy. Taxpayers would be on the hook for abortions for any reason - even sex selection abortions would’ve been covered. This may come as a surprise a lot of people, even those who hold ‘pro-choice’ views. The Governor is doing the right thing by promising to veto HB 40.”

Press release…

Paul Caprio, Director of Family-Pac, today commended the decision of Governor Rauner to oppose HB 40…legislation to provide taxpayer funding for abortion.

Said Caprio: “It’s clear that the majority of Illinois voters oppose the use of their hard earned tax dollars to fund abortions at a time when Illinois is facing a fiscal crisis, regardless of their personal views.”

“I wish to thank also the many pro-family legislators who have met with the Governor regarding this issue as well as the many thousands of Illinois citizens who have contacted their legislators urging them to oppose HB 40.”

*** UPDATE 3 *** Chris Kennedy campaign…

Politicians like Bruce Rauner have no business deciding when and if women can get access to health services - period. He is putting politics before women’s health and that’s just shameful. All women deserve nothing less than full access to doctors and health services of their choice. As Governor, I would sign any legislation that would affirm a woman’s right to choose is protected in Illinois.

*** UPDATE 4 *** From Rep. Kelly Cassidy, a co-sponsor of the bill…

Representative Morrison uses tired misinformation to launch a baseless attack on one of our state legislators. The reality is that State Representative Sara Feigenholtz (and her colleagues who are supportive of HB 40) are working to build a future where insurance coverage for necessary healthcare isn’t denied just because someone doesn’t make enough money.

However we may personally feel about abortion, no one should have that personal decision taken away by politicians who deny insurance coverage—which is exactly what the Hyde Amendment does to low-income families. Representative Feigenholtz’ bill would correct that injustice.

Voters agree. A poll from Hart Research Associates shows 86 percent of voters agree that “however we feel about abortion, politicians should not be allowed to deny a woman’s health coverage because she is poor.” And there is broad consensus across age groups (90 percent of voters ages 18 to 34 and 84 percent of voters 65 and over) and parties: 85 percent of independents, 79 percent of Republicans, and 94 percent of Democrats all agree.

This is about more than politics. The stakes for a woman whose decision is denied by Hyde are high: a woman who wants to get an abortion but is denied is more likely to fall into poverty than one who can get an abortion.

Representative Feigenholtz’s legislation simply affirms something that women in Illinois already know: that the legal right to an abortion is legal fiction if a woman can’t access and afford the care.

Nothing about HB 40 changes the law as it relates to when a person can have an abortion in Illinois.

Representative Feigenholtz wants to ensure that whatever happens in the future—the right to abortion is real for those in our state who already face too many barriers to care. I call that admirable and am grateful for this champion of health and women’s ability to make our own decisions.

*** UPDATE 5 *** Press release…

Sen. Daniel Biss made the following statement in response to Gov. Rauner’s announcement that he would veto House Bill 40, a bill that would protect the women of Illinois from dangerous attacks on their reproductive freedom coming from President Trump and his right-wing Supreme Court appointments:

“Since taking office out-of-touch billionaires like Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner have done everything in their power to wage a war on women. Bruce Rauner lied on the campaign trail when he said he didn’t have a social agenda — on the contrary, he’s now supporting President Trump’s dangerous efforts to take Illinois women back to the dangerous days before Roe v. Wade was the law of the land.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

34 Comments
  1. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 12:22 pm:

    “Bruce has no Social Agenda”

    - Democrat Diana Rauner…


  2. - Deft Wing - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 12:32 pm:

    Vetoing the bill is actually consistent with his “no social agenda” statements because it maintains the status quo, under existing law.

    That takes little to think through (but you do have to be able to think).

    That said, I suspect Rauner was hoping the bill never got to his desk so that he had no role. This story is bad for him still, however. Because what this public expression does do is provide additional motivation for the bill’s sponsors to pass it and put it on the Gov’s desk. That way, he has to follow through with his stated intentions, putting him at odds with many he wishes would support him (he is clearly pro-choice). So, this is likely to hurt Rauner overall.


  3. - Annonin' - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 12:36 pm:

    So DopeyDuct tries to cuddle up to McSweeney?
    This move should just about tube him …bye, bye, bye.


  4. - Mama - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 12:38 pm:

    Gov. Rauner, what would you rather do, pay for an abortion or spend the next 18 years paying for the child???


  5. - Glasgow - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 12:46 pm:

    Is that really your argument, mama? Kill the child before birth because it’s cheaper than letting the child live?! Brutal.


  6. - Perrid - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 12:46 pm:

    Mama, I get that there are different views on this, but someone who is pro life could very reasonably interpret your argument to mean that we should allow children to be killed to save money. I’m sure that’s not how you see it but if you want to convince someone you gotta at least consider their viewpoint. There are other arguments to be made.


  7. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 12:47 pm:

    Agreed with rauner

    Regardless of your beliefs on abortion, we the taxpayer shouldn’t be covering it. If you want an abortion, cool. You should be financially responsible


  8. - Arsenal - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 12:48 pm:

    Rough choice for the Gov, and I’m sure Feigenholtz knew it. He probably just can’t spit on the base on this issue, but he’s now got even more exposure in the suburbs.


  9. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 12:53 pm:

    ===Vetoing the bill is actually consistent with his “no social agenda” statements because it maintains the status quo, under existing law.===

    Hmm. Really? Then there should be no need to worry, right - Deft Wing -…

    ===So, this is likely to hurt Rauner overall===

    So…

    This is Rauner being “consistent”, but this new action in of itself, will…

    “…likely to hurt Rauner overall”

    How can being consistent, by taking an action that changes Rauner’s perception on a policy, also a hurt?

    Good try, thou.


  10. - walker - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 12:58 pm:

    Ooh. McSweeney really hurt Rauner calling him out like that. McSweeney is clearly not a Raunerite, but a more traditional Republican Conservative.

    Rauner has been dodging national wedge issues left and right. He should have ducked this one. This will hurt him in the suburbs, especially with newly active women.


  11. - Deft Wing - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 1:06 pm:

    Walker gets it. As usual, Mr. Post-a-Lot, does not.


  12. - Roman - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 1:08 pm:

    It’s been a long time since an abortion bill has hit the board. Speaker Madigan usually doesn’t want his members to feel any heat on this.

    But Rauner’s presence has change that. HB 40 is an effort to put the Guv in a damned-if-he-does-damned-if-he-doesn’t position. If it passes and he vetoes it, then suburban women are outraged, particularly because of the provision that revokes the state’s old “trigger” law, and a key part of Rauner’s 2014 majority is lost. If it passes and he signs it, the right explodes and credible primary challenge would materialize.

    Good thinking by the Speaker. But many of his more moderate members are freaked by this. So I think it only gets called if he’s certain there are 60 votes.


  13. - Anonymous - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 1:10 pm:

    “Vetoing the bill is actually consistent with his “no social agenda” statements because it maintains the status quo, under existing law. That takes little to think through (but you do have to be able to think).”

    That kind of thinking is why some folks leave their car in neutral on a hill expecting to find it there when they get back.

    – MrJM


  14. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 1:10 pm:

    Oh - Deft Wing -, lol

    If someone is consistent, there would be no worry about the action.

    The word “no” means “no”, nothing…

    This bill is something.

    Where you fail in your failed logic is the substance of a choice makes the action, a seen agenda, thus your “this will hurt”.


  15. - Anon221 - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 1:13 pm:

    Bruce’s views on abortion from Dr. Rauner dated October 31, 2014 :

    http://illinoisreview.typepad.com/illinoisreview/2014/10/diana-rauner-bruce-convinced-pro-lifers-to-put-aside-their-views-on-this-issue.html

    The Chicago Mag this email was referenced in is also worth a “history lesson” review.

    http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/Felsenthal-Files/November-2014/Is-Bruce-Rauner-Pro-Choice-Anti-Choice-or-Just-an-Opportunist/


  16. - Not It - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 1:15 pm:

    This is nothing more than a distraction issue designed to pander to each side’s base. It’s a waste of time and energy.

    This is why people have such a low opinion of politics.


  17. - crazybleedingheart - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 1:21 pm:

    If Dems can’t figure out to line up behind this, now, Madigan doesn’t deserve to keep his majority. People are gunning to run for office these days, especially women.

    Let the conservative Dems get primaried. I’m sure the Speaker will enjoy having independent new members.


  18. - Anon221 - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 1:27 pm:

    Wonder where you Rep stands???

    http://www.ontheissues.org/states/IL_Abortion.htm#House


  19. - JoeMaddon - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 1:36 pm:

    So, Bruce Rauner is committed to protecting women’s reproductive rights, unless they’re poor. Because poor women don’t really fit into Rauner’s political calculations.


  20. - Amalia - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 2:07 pm:

    Boy Bye Rauner


  21. - Telly - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 2:27 pm:

    Careful what you wish for, crazybleedingheart.

    Those conservative Dem seats can turn into Republican seats. I’ll take a Bluedog who’s with us 70 percent of the time over a Raunerbot who’s never with us.


  22. - Cleric dcn - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 2:36 pm:

    Another Rauner problem he is pro-choice and somehow economics is more important. It is Good Friday and women and children a drawn into the mess. The violence in Chicago all starts somewhere.


  23. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 3:04 pm:

    To the update:

    Good on JB for calling out Rauner’s pandering. However, believing tax dollars should not be used to pay for elective abortions is hardly an “extreme agenda” in my mind. Looks like I can cross another candidate off my list.


  24. - John Rawlss - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 3:09 pm:

    JB Pritzker is for taxpayer funded abortion? OUT OF TOUCH just like Jeb!


  25. - Oswego Willy - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 3:09 pm:

    To the Pritzker update,

    Well done, except for the Trump stuff there.

    It would’ve been enough to expose that Rauner has a social agenda, something Diana Rauner, as a prop, said Bruce didn’t have.

    Rauner’s veto isn’t consistent with having no social agenda. Diana Rauner can’t explain away vetoing a pro-choice bill that pro-life advocates applaud.

    Diana, by saying Bruce stands for… nothing… it left Bruce be left open to anything.


  26. - LTSW - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 3:28 pm:

    HB40 would state fund abortions for Medicaid and state employees. A real political trick bag. Medicaid already pays for abortions in the cases of rape, incest or to save the life of the mother under state law. We also cover abortions to protect the health of the mother under a court order. That last reason was used on almost all abortions from the South side Planned Parenthood until an HFS OIG investigation. Unless you have other complications PP charges $200. I don’t think there is any pent up demand for elective abortions.
    Rep. Feigenholz can play to her base with this bill under the guise of a conservative SCOTUS overturning Roe v Wade.


  27. - Mad Brown - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 3:49 pm:

    Who knows that they are elective abortions 16? Is this from your own experiences or women who are sharing random health care procedure information?


  28. - Rocky Rosi - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 3:58 pm:

    I’m with the Gov on this one. Dems should stay away from this subject.


  29. - Cubs in '16 - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 4:00 pm:

    @Mad Brown:

    See Update #2


  30. - Anoncookiemonster - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 4:33 pm:

    Rep. Morrison doesn’t know what he’s talking about. Late-term abortion would NOT be made legal with this bill. Get the facts straight…


  31. - crazybleedingheart - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 4:35 pm:

    Telly, if Dems can’t win those seats in the midterm they really do deserve to lose. Sorry.

    I’d rather have a government that represents the people and interests it says it does, than more sham Democrats who refuse to stand up for the people who bring them to the dance.

    Raunerbots get elected because Illinois Democrats on a good day lean toward preservation instead of progress. And people know it.


  32. - Arsenal - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 4:40 pm:

    ==Well done, except for the Trump stuff there.==

    It’s good politics for the primary. Pritzker might be able to win it without the “Resistance” types. But if he gets ‘em, if he even splits ‘em, he’ll cruise to March.


  33. - A Modest Proposal - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 5:11 pm:

    Here’s the thing about HB40, it forces other people to pay for abortions, and takes away their choice on an issue they morally object to.

    A pro-choice bill would allow for abortions, but not force others to pay for it.

    This isn’t a pro-choice bill, because it forces a monetary decision to be made for people who choose life.


  34. - walker - Friday, Apr 14, 17 @ 5:19 pm:

    Cassidy is correct. Morrison overstates his case, and deliberately misrepresents what the bill does. Unfortunately a very common practice when this issue is raised. For some, defending ‘Life” its they see it, is morally more important than telling the truth.


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