Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner today signed a bill to keep abortion on demand up to birth legal and establish the Land of Lincoln as a “safe haven” for women seeking abortions.
Gov. Bruce Rauner supports abortion, but he previously said he would veto the radical pro-abortion bill. Rauner said taxpayer funding for abortion is too “divisive,” a fact backed up by polling. Polls consistently show that a strong majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortions, including those who identify as pro-choice.
But Rauner did not stick to his promise today. As LifeNews has reported, the new law would also require taxpayer funding of abortion for low income women through Illinois’ Medicaid program.
Emily Troscinski, executive director of Illinois RTL said Illinois once funded unrestricted abortions through Medicaid in the late 1970s, and taxpayers paid about $1.8 million for about 12,738 abortions at the time – so “12,000 abortions per year isn’t an exaggeration.”
“House Bill 40 would undo a decades-old ban on taxpayer funding of abortion costing us thousands of lives a year,” Troscinski said.
According to the Pro-Life Action League, the bill also would keep abortion legal in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Furthermore, the Illinois State Assembly synopsis of the bill says the bill would remove “language [from state law and policy] … that the unborn child is a human being from the time of conception and is, therefore, a legal person for purposes of the unborn child’s right to life.”
The new law would have the potential to fund thousands of new abortions every year. As researcher Michael New notes:
There is a considerable amount of debate among scholars about various aspects of abortion policy. However, when it comes to the issue of taxpayer subsidies, there is a very broad consensus among both pro-life and pro-choice researchers that funding abortion through Medicaid significantly increases abortion rates. In 2009, the Guttmacher Institute – which until 2007 Planned Parenthood’s research arm – published a literature review on the research about public funding of abortion. They found that 19 of 22 studies found taxpayer funding of abortion increased the incidence of abortion.
Similarly, in 2010, the Center for Reproductive Rights did an analysis of the Hyde Amendment, which limits the ability of federal Medicaid dollars to pay for abortions. They found that the Hyde Amendment prevented over 1,000,000 abortions since 1976. My 2016 analysis of the Hyde Amendment, published by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, updated the Center for Reproductive Rights study. It found that the Hyde Amendment has stopped over 2.1 million abortions in 40 years.
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Furthermore, the Hyde Amendment has stopped 144,721 abortions in Illinois since 1976 and protects 3,800 unborn children in Illinois every year.
In October 2016, a Politico/Harvard University poll found that just 36 percent of likely voters supported taxpayer funding for abortions, while 58 percent opposed it. These findings are consistent with previous polls from various groups.
Interestingly, the poll also found that voters who make more than $75,000 were more supportive of forcing taxpayers to fund abortions (45 percent in favor), while those who make $25,000 or less were strongly against it (24 percent in favor).
In other words, the people most likely to qualify for a Medicaid-covered, taxpayer-funded abortion are the ones who oppose it the most.
ACTION: Complain to Gov. Rauner. Call Rauner at 217-782-0244. Or send him an electronic message here.