Illinois lawmakers are considering an unpopular bill this week that would force taxpayers to fund abortions for state employees and Medicaid recipients, The DuPage Policy Journal reports.
Currently, state laws prohibit using taxpayer dollars to pay for abortions, but Illinois House Bill 4013 would change that. If passed, the bill would amend state law to allow taxpayer dollars to be used to cover abortions through Medicaid and state employee health insurance plans, according to the report.
“I just think that it is unbelievable that they want taxpayers to pay for something that they so strenuously object to,” Carol Wright, public relations director of Illinois Citizens for Life, told the newspaper.
Polls consistently show that a strong majority of Americans do not want their tax dollars to pay for abortions, including women and people who identify as “pro-choice” on abortion. One of the most recent polls from Harvard University found that 58 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortion.
Wright said the Illinois bill would lead to more abortions in the state. She said women and their children deserve better from their government.
“We think that women need help,” she continued. They don’t need to kill the children. They need help to be able to present their children for adoption or have their child, raise it and enjoy it. We don’t believe that there is ever a proper reason to kill a child. To think that people with our faith, beliefs and values would be forced to pay for it with our tax dollars is unbelievable.”
She also noted that lawmakers are attempting to push tax dollars toward abortion when the state is struggling financially.
“At a time when the state is so financially strapped, I don’t understand what they are thinking,” Wright said.
Illinois Right to Life pointed out more concerns on its website:
This bill also allows doctors convicted of performing abortions on women they knew were not pregnant to continue receiving taxpayer funds as a convicted criminal.
According to the pro-choice ACLU, 18 – 35% of women who qualify for Medicaid will not seek an abortion unless taxpayers pay for it. This means that lifting the decades-old ban on taxpayer-funded abortions will drastically increase the 40,750 annual abortions in Illinois. In 1977-1978, the last years Medicaid paid for abortions for any reason, taxpayers paid for 12,738 abortions at a cost of $1.8 million. Today, Medicaid only pays for abortion in the cases of rape, incest, and life/health of the mother. In 2012, taxpayers funded 256 abortions – a decline of over 12,000 abortions since taxpayers stopped paying for abortions for any reason.
According to Illinois RTL, the state Planned Parenthood affiliate has a sordid history of misusing taxpayer dollars for non-abortion services. The group referred to an incident in 2012 when Planned Parenthood Illinois paid back $367,000 in state Medicaid funds after the inspector general uncovered evidence of over-billing.
“House Bill 4013 will reward this company by giving them more taxpayer money,” the group said.
Pro-life groups in the state are encouraging people to contact their local representatives and urge them to vote against House Bill 4013.
ACTION: Contact Illinois legislators here.