* Subscribers were told about the probability of this happening on Friday. From the Tribune…
A Democratic state senator said he will lift his procedural hold on a bill that would expand taxpayer-subsidized abortions for women who have Medicaid or state employee health insurance coverage, sending the measure to a Republican governor who’s offered mixed signals on the issue.
Sen. Don Harmon’s move Monday means Gov. Bruce Rauner will have 60 days to decide what to do with House Bill 40. The legislation has become the focus of abortion rights groups that contend the re-election-seeking Rauner won his first term by saying he had no social agenda and noting his prior financial support of organizations that back women’s reproductive health rights.
Harmon said he had not received any assurances that Rauner would sign the measure after the governor’s prior veto pledge, but said he believed it was time to officially send the measure to Rauner’s desk. […]
Abortion rights advocacy groups had said they did not want to see the measure go to Rauner’s desk until the governor had committed to sign it as is. Harmon said he expected the groups would strengthen their current campaign pushing the governor to sign the bill after it reaches his desk.
I asked the governor’s office for a response early this morning, but have yet to hear back.
* Abortion Legislation Puts Gov. Rauner In Political Bind
*** UPDATE 1 *** Press release…
Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) released the following statement today after withdrawing the hold he had placed on House Bill 40:
“The work of constituents and advocates who have urged the governor to sign this legislation appears to be having some effect, as the governor recently backed away from his promise to veto it. I believe Gov. Rauner understands that he has made a commitment to support women’s reproductive rights, and I look forward to him signing this bill as it passed the General Assembly.”
House Bill 40 protects the right of women to make decisions about their reproductive health by ensuring that abortion remains legal in Illinois even if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
The measure moves to the House now, which is expected to send it quickly to the governor’s desk.
*** UPDATE 2 *** Planned Parenthood…
“We urge Governor Rauner to sign HB 40 and safeguard the right of women to safe and legal abortion regardless of how much money they make or how they get health care coverage.” said Planned Parenthood of Illinois President and CEO, Jennifer Welch. “With reproductive rights under attack at the federal level, it is essential to make sure that women will have access to safe and legal abortion in Illinois.
HB 40 repeals the “trigger” language in the Illinois Abortion law of 1975, which stated that Illinois would revert back to criminalizing abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the decision in Roe v. Wade. The authority to outlaw or severely restrict abortion would return to the states, if the court were to overturn Roe. HB 40 ensures that no matter what happens, federally, abortion will remain legal in Illinois. In addition, HB 40 strikes bans on abortion coverage by the Illinois’ Medicaid and State Employee Health Insurance programs. Coverage bans were enacted in the 1970s by politicians who wanted to keep as many women as possible from accessing abortion without running afoul of the Roe decision.
“Signing HB 40 into law will demonstrate that Illinois respects women to make their own personal decisions,” added Welch. “The women of Illinois are depending on Governor Rauner to do the right thing.”
*** UPDATE 3 *** I’m told that HB40 has been received by the governor’s office.
*** UPDATE 4 *** Pritzker campaign…
“HB 40 is now on Bruce Rauner’s desk, but women and families in our state still don’t know if their governor will sign this critical legislation,” said JB Pritzker. “Illinoisans shouldn’t have to force Bruce Rauner’s hand to stand up for their basic rights. Even though he promised to veto HB 40, I urge the governor to sign the bill without delay, and if he won’t, then HB 40 will be the first bill I sign into law as governor. It is time to send an unwavering advocate for women to Springfield – not someone who campaigns as one and then turns his back after getting elected.”
*** UPDATE 5 *** Sen. Daniel Biss…
“After promising to sign every provision of HB40, Rauner is playing politics instead of standing up for a woman’s right to choose. But as Rauner waits to see where the wind blows, hundreds of thousands of women wonder what Trump’s America could mean for them. Amidst attacks from Washington, we have a responsibility to defend every Illinoisan—that’s why I co-sponsored HB40, and why I’m calling on Rauner to sign it into law today.”
*** UPDATE 6 *** Kennedy campaign…
Bruce Rauner has the chance to prove that he is the pro-choice candidate he said he was when he was ran for office. Illinois should be the kind of state that builds on the great accomplishments of the past - Roe v. Wade, Title IX, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act - and guarantees that women have fair and equal rights.
We cannot go back to a time when anyone tells a woman what she can and cannot do with her body. If you take away a woman’s reproductive freedom, you’re taking away her economic mobility. Bruce Rauner needs to sign HB 40 to protect women’s rights and the future of our state.