Democratic Illinois House OKs public funding for abortions

Credit Daniel Schwen  Wikimedia Commons
Credit Daniel Schwen Wikimedia Commons
Author

28 April, 2017

House Bill 40 passed by a vote of 62-55 and will move to the Illinois Senate for consideration.

The Democratic-led IL house passed legistlation on Tuesday to expand state-funded abortion coverage for state employees and low-income residents.

"After repeated threats from the White House and President 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", Feigenholtz added.

The governor has said he would veto the bill due to concerns over expanding access to Medicaid recipients.

A representative for Gov. Rauner said the latter is committed to protecting legal abortion under the current law.

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Women from Chicago and across IL marched at the state capitol in Springfield, Ill., Tuesday, urging lawmakers to pass a budget and legislation to help women and families.

IL lawmakers are returning to the Capitol this week to resume work on trying to end a budget stalemate that has eluded them for nearly two years. He cited a 1989 analysis from the state's nonpartisan Legislative Research Unit that found IL would need to reinstate criminal penalties for abortion before that language could have any practical application.

Rauner has argued that such one-time spending plans do little to address the state's long-term funding issues, saying lawmakers should instead focus on a long-term deal to end the state's historic budget impasse. Republican state Rep. Peter Breen of Lombard says Medicaid-funded abortions do not qualify for federal match so would cost IL an extra $60 million a year.

GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner now opposes public funding. However, he is aware that people's opinions differ when it comes to taxpayer-funded abortions, the Associated Press relays. That agenda covers a multitude of issues advocates say would improve women's lives including protecting immigrant rights, increasing the minimum wage and ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment.

The bill cleared committee and is expected to be called for a vote tomorrow.


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