Democratic Illinois House OKs public funding for abortions

by Ben Pena April 28, 2017, 0:49
Democratic Illinois House OKs public funding for abortions

Gov. Rauner had promised to veto Illinois House Bill 40, which would provide funding via Medicaid or health insurance for elective abortions for any reason during any stage of pregnancy.

IL lawmakers returned to Springfield today as state government is closing on 22 months without a budget, and prospects for an overall deal look grim.

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

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

"Today is a victory for every woman in our state because it protects every woman's right to choose", said Feigenholtz, the bill's sponsor, in a statement given to NBC5".

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.

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"We believe all women should have access to safe and legal abortion because we won't go back", said Brigid Leahy, who's with Planned Parenthood of IL.

Republican state Rep. Peter Breen of Lombard says Medicaid-funded abortions do not qualify for federal match so the measure would cost IL an extra $60 million a year.

"Illinois has been without a complete budget for almost two years now, and gone even longer without a balanced budget that actually matches spending to projected revenues", Skillicorn said. "Should it come from cancer screenings?"

However, the governor said Friday that he would not support HB 40, because it's too controversial and IL should focus on other issues like reducing property taxes, lawmaker term limits and other elements of his "turnaround agenda".

Breen said the trigger language in the bill is "clouding the debate", and that if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned, abortion still would not be illegal in the state.

Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has previously supported pro-abortion rights legislation, pledged earlier this month to veto Feigenholtz's bill after pressure from his Republican colleagues. They include the long-stalled ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

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