“Instead of working to solve our state’s catastrophic challenges, Madigan Democrats just passed a radical bill for taxpayer funded abortions, at a cost of $60 million, while we don’t have a budget. Springfield yet again shows it’s tone-deaf to the concerns of Illinoisans.” - Illinois Republican Party National Committeewoman Demetra Demonte
Interesting that they call this “Madigan Democrats” proposal “radical” when Gov. Rauner supposedly supported that bill before he was against it, and even implied that he could support the bill if only the impasse was resolved.
* Catholic Conference of Illinois…
The head of the public policy arm of the state’s Catholic bishops today lamented Illinois House passage of legislation authorizing the use of taxpayer money to pay for elective abortions for Medicaid recipients and state employees.
Robert Gilligan, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Illinois, criticized lawmakers for turning a moral argument into campaign fodder.
“Elected representatives today chose raw politics over the innocent lives of the unborn,” Gilligan said.
Today’s passage of House Bill 40 denoted the culmination of a legislative spring break marked by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s promise to veto the legislation, which was quickly followed by accusations of broken campaign promises. Cardinal Blase Cupich of the Archdiocese of Chicago last week issued a public statement in which he thanked the governor for his “principled stand” to veto HB 40.
“Abortion is a controversial issue in this country, but using public money to provide abortions should not be,” Cardinal Cupich stated.
Public opinion polls indicate strong opposition to public funding of abortion. A January 2017 poll conducted by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion for the Knights of Columbus shows that 61 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, including 40 percent of those who say they are pro-choice.
Only 15 states currently pay for elective abortions for Medicaid participants, and 11 of those states do so through a court order, not legislative action.
Gilligan stressed the House’s vote represented a dangerous misplacement of priorities, especially when the state has not had a budget for 22 months and has nearly $13 billion in overdue bills.
“The state can’t pay for essential services, and lawmakers are funding elective abortions – where is the logic in that?” he said.
Illinois’ Catholic bishops have lobbied hard against House Bill 40, issuing letters to parishioners urging them to contact their state representatives to vote against the measure. Cardinal Cupich and the other bishops noted that a better use of taxpayer money in such dire fiscal times would be to fund prenatal services for the poor and child care for working mothers, as well as expand health-care options for those in need.
HB 40 passed the House on a 62-55 vote, and now moves to the Senate for consideration.
* Illinois Federation of Republican Women…
“Yesterday, Democrats passed a far-reaching bill that will force taxpayers to pay for elective abortions. As a result, Illinois taxpayers are on the hook to pay over $60 million. Democrats continue to show they are willing to increase the financial burden on our state and taxpayers. Instead of playing politics with this controversial piece of legislation, Speaker Madigan should focus on working with Governor Bruce Rauner to pass a balanced budget. We need reforms so we can properly and adequately fund our universities and social services, not more of Madigan’s games.”
If I recall correctly, Gov. Rauner cut off talks with Madigan last December.
* Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard)…
“Today, Mike Madigan and his Illinois House Democrats voted to spend taxpayer funds to abort healthy babies. Our best estimates show that taxpayers would pay for over 30,000 abortions if this bill is signed into law, at an impact of $60 million to our Medicaid system. Despite the dire financial straits facing our state, Illinois Democrats today put their political patrons in the abortion industry ahead of fiscal sanity and a balanced budget.”
“According to the Workers’ Action Guide published by the Illinois Department of Human Services, Medicaid provides medical coverage for pregnant women who make less than 213% of the federal poverty level. The latest numbers from the Guttmacher Institute, released in May 2016, indicate that 75% of women who receive abortions have income under 200% of the federal poverty level. Based upon this information, and published documentation from the Illinois Department of Public Health and the Department of Healthcare and Family Services about the cost and frequency of abortion procedures, the $60 million price tag would decimate our Medicaid budget.”
In 2015, the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget said an identical bill wouldn’t cost anything extra.
* Illinois Family Institute…
After passionate testimony from both sides, HB 40 passed by a vote of 62-55 yesterday afternoon. Sixty votes are needed for passage. This proposal for taxpayer funding of abortion will now proceed to the Illinois Senate where it is expected to pass. […]
Passage of HB 40 would translate into tens of thousands of additional abortions in Illinois every year through Medicaid. As explained in an earlier article, this law would result in a disproportionate number of black and brown babies being killed.
HB 40 also allows the Deptartment of Health and Human Services to make grants to nonprofit agencies and organizations that use such grants to refer, counsel for, or perform abortions.
In addition, state employees would have abortion coverage added to their insurance plan under HB 40.
Proponents, for the most part, focused their testimony on a woman’s choice to have control over her own body and the “right” of poor women to have access to “health care” while opponents’ focus was on the fact that innocent pre-born human life would be killed with taxpayer resources.
It’s a tragic day in Illinois when the most helpless have no protection from the adult lawmakers who are already born.