Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner Forced Taxpayers to Fund Abortions

State   |   Micaiah Bilger   |   Feb 12, 2018   |   7:06PM   |   Springfied, IL

As the Illinois gubernatorial race heats up, one newspaper claimed that a pro-life challenger to Gov. Bruce Rauner was wrong to say he forced taxpayers to fund late-term abortions.

The State Journal-Register recently “fact checked” a claim by pro-life Republican candidate Jeanne Ives, a state representative who threw her hat into the ring after Rauner flip-flopped and signed a radical pro-abortion law in 2017.

Ives’ campaign released a radio ad Wednesday attacking the Republican governor’s pro-abortion record. It followed a TV ad, which similarly highlighted Rauner’s support of taxpayer-funded abortions.

“Rauner made you pay for abortions in all nine months of pregnancy,” Ives aid in the ad. “I voted against it — and so did every other Republican legislator.”

The 2017 law keeps abortion on demand legal in Illinois and establishes the Land of Lincoln as a “safe haven” for women seeking abortions. The law also forces taxpayers in the already cash-strapped state to pay for abortions for late-term abortions and for any reason.

Yet, the fact checker claimed Ives was wrong about the legislation and rated her ad statement “false.”

Here’s what the fact checker argued:

A woman in Illinois can opt to legally terminate a pregnancy up until the point that her fetus would likely be able to survive outside the womb, according to state statute. …

The law Rauner signed expands abortion access by providing coverage to any Medicaid recipient and state worker who opts for the procedure before viability. But a review of state statute shows it does nothing to supercede existing law concerning what constitutes a legal abortion.

Democratic state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, of Chicago, who sponsored the bill, confirmed in an emailed statement that it did not “in any way alter the Illinois Abortion Law or any other legal limits to the practice of abortion in Illinois.”

So we reached out to Ives’ campaign for an explanation of the candidate’s claim.

Spokeswoman Kathleen Murphy acknowledged abortions were already legal after viability in cases of rape or incest and when a mother’s life or health is in danger. She also agreed that cases of rape or incest, along with endangerment of the mother’s life, were already covered by state and Medicaid plans. But she claimed that cases where a doctor had determined a mother’s health was at risk didn’t qualify for state coverage prior to the new law.

“The law already allows for abortion up to nine months with a doctor’s note,” she said. “Now taxpayers will be funding that.”

Lawyers previously have noted that abortions for the “health” of the mother were so widely defined by the U.S. Supreme Court that basically any abortion can fall into that exception.

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The fact checker also quoted Elizabeth Nash, a policy analyst at the pro-abortion Guttmacher Institute, who asserted, “It just doesn’t happen that abortions take place that late in pregnancy unless there is some kind of extreme emergency.”

But this is not true, according to Guttmacher’s own research. Unfortunately, the fact checker did not fact check Nash’s statement.

Abortion practitioner Martin Haskell, who is credited with inventing the partial-birth abortion method, also admitted that most of his patients had late-term abortions for “purely elective” reasons.

In a 1993 interview with American Medical News, Haskell said: “I’ll be quite frank: most of my abortions are elective in that 20-24 week range…. In my particular case, probably 20% are for genetic reasons. And the other 80% are purely elective….”

Other abortion practitioners have made similar statements.

Rauner widely was criticized for signing the pro-abortion law. He recently was named the “worst Republican governor in America” for his betrayal.

Emily Troscinski, executive director of Illinois Right To Life, previously 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.