Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Signs New Abortion Bill


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Governor Bruce Rauner

In a move that shocked his Republican constituents, Illinois Gov., Bruce Rauner, signed House Bill 40 on Sept. 28, which expands public funding of abortions.

HB40, also known as the abortion bill, has two key components. First, it prevents a trigger in Illinois state law that would have made abortion illegal in the hypothetical scenario Roe v. Wade be overturned. It also expands tax-payer funding of abortions for women covered by Medicaid or state insurance. Previously, Medicaid would only cover abortions if the baby was endangering the life of the mother or if the pregnancy resulted from rape or incest.

In April, Gov. Rauner promised to veto the bill, claiming that it was too controversial.

However, he has since reversed his position, saying that he has campaigned on a pro-rights platform.  “I personally believe that a woman must have the right to decide what goes on in her own body,” he said shortly after signing the bill.

Illinois is the first state in decades to lift restrictions on Medicaid funding of abortions.

The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH), Planned Parenthood, and the ACLU were among the groups who applauded the move.

“[We are] proud to have supported this effort in Illinois and to be part of the growing movement to end all bans on insurance coverage of abortion,” said NIRH President, Andrea Miller, Politico reports. 

However, many conservatives and pro-life supporters are enraged that Gov. Rauner had signed HB40 into effect. They say the governor has gone back on his word and are enraged that they are indirectly paying for abortions through tax money.

The bill could hurt Rauner’s chances for reelection in 2018. Some Republicans have already abandoned Rauner and are trying to find viable competitors to run against him.

“Bruce Rauner today declared war on the pro-family movement, Illinois taxpayers, and the most basic values of the Republican party,” said director of Family-Pac, Paul Caprio. “No serious conservative of any type can consider ever voting for Bruce Rauner again.”