Chicago Catholic Cardinal Blase Cupich criticized the governor of Illinois for breaking his promise to millions of voters when he signed a radical pro-abortion bill last week.
On Thursday, Gov. Bruce Rauner, a pro-abortion Republican, 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. The new law also forces taxpayers in the already cash-strapped state to pay for abortions up to birth.
Cupich told the Chicago Tribune that Rauner called him Thursday to explain why he changed his mind.
“I reminded him of the promise and also my statement earlier thanking him for that,” Cupich told the Tribune. “He did break his word. He broke his word to the people, especially those who have continued to speak on behalf of the vulnerable child in the womb.”
Rauner made no secret of the fact that he supports abortion, but he had promised to stay away from controversial issues like abortion. The governor previously said he would veto the radical pro-abortion bill because 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.
That’s what made the governor’s decision so disappointing, Cupich said.
“It’s a disappointing day,” Cupich said Thursday evening. “It saddens me a lot. That’s the way it is, though. You just have to accept reality.”
Here’s more from the report:
The Catholic Conference of Illinois, the church’s lobbying arm in Springfield, opposed the bill not only because it provides funding, but also because it, according to Cupich, “codified in law that abortion on demand is legal, which this does in terms of the trigger.”
“That’s why we were so encouraged by his blanket statement and promise that he would veto the bill,” Cupich said. “He wasn’t going to cherry-pick this at all.
“What we’re talking about is a really divisive issue,” Cupich said. “Even though he’s pro-choice, he felt as though there were significant reason to veto this bill given what we have in this state.”
But Cupich said that on Thursday, there was little room for argument with the governor.
“He was fairly matter-of-fact in saying what decision he came to,” Cupich said. “I expressed my disappointment. I think that’s about it.”
Rauner’s decision angered a lot of people, including Illinois Lieutenant Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti.
Late last week, Sanguinetti called the pro-abortion legislation a “political ploy” to divide the state. She also shared a very personal reason why she supports the right to life for unborn babies.
“As a pro-life Republican, I disagree with the Governor’s decision to sign HB 40,” Sanguinetti said. “I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for a 15-year-old refugee who chose to have me and keep me.”
The legislation likely will have devastating effects on unborn babies in Illinois.
Emily Troscinski, executive director of Illinois Right To Life, said the state once funded unrestricted abortions through Medicaid in the late 1970s, and taxpayers paid about $1.8 million for about 12,738 unborn babies’ abortion deaths at the time.
She predicted that state taxpayers will be forced to pay for as many as 12,000 unborn babies’ abortion deaths annually because of the legislation.
“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 will keep abortion legal in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned.
Furthermore, the Illinois State Assembly synopsis of the bill says the legislation will 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.”
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).
ACTION: Complain to Gov. Rauner. Call Rauner at 217-782-0244. Or send him an electronic message here.