Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is on the campaign trail trying to win back pro-life voters after he supported a radical pro-abortion bill to force taxpayers to fund abortions.
On Friday, the pro-abortion Republican said his influential support of other pro-life candidates is why pro-life advocates should vote for him, according to Tribune News Service.
“I am the strongest supporter of candidates for office who are pro-life. Nobody has worked harder to elect pro-life Republicans than I have and I remind everybody of that. I have fought hard,” Rauner said during a local news interview.
“I supported Bill Brady when he ran. I’m supporting Erika Harold,” he continued. “I’m supporting legislators who are pro-life. I am a strong ally and strong supporter for pro-life candidates.”
Rauner, a wealthy former political donor, gave money to both pro-life and pro-abortion Republican candidates before he ran for office, according to the report.
The Republican governor angered all but the most radical pro-abortion activists earlier this year when he signed a law to force taxpayers in the already cash-strapped state to pay for abortions for any reason up to birth. He previously said he would veto the legislation because it was too radical, but he went back on his word.
The move earned Rauner the title of “Worst Republican Governor in America” from the National Review.
Rauner currently is running for re-election in 2018, but many predict that he will lose in the Democrat-controlled state. A pro-life Republican woman, state Rep. Jeanne Ives, is challenging him in the primary.
When he first ran for election, Rauner made no secret of the fact that he supports abortion, but he promised to stay away from the controversial issue. He previously said he would veto the radical pro-abortion bill because taxpayer funding for abortion is too “divisive,” a fact backed up by polling. But in September, Rauner flip-flopped.
The backlash came swiftly. Soon afterward, Chicago Catholic Cardinal Blase Cupich criticized the governor for breaking his promise to millions of voters. And the Chicago Sun-Times ran the headline “Benedict Rauner.”
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Rauner’s own Lt. Gov. Evelyn Sanguinetti criticized him for caving into pressure from the abortion industry. 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 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.
According to the Pro-Life Action League, the bill also will keep abortion legal in Illinois if Roe v.Wade is overturned.