Springfield, Ill., Feb 13, 2017 / 04:39 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A Catholic advocacy group is warning the governor of Illinois that he will face massive political opposition if he signs an abortion funding bill into law.
“Let me be clear. If Governor Rauner signs the bill as written, we will urge our members along with every pro-life voter in the state to support an alternative candidate — or to abstain from voting for his re-election. And we won’t be the only group doing so,” Brian Burch, president of CatholicVote.org, stated on Monday of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R).
The Illinois H.B. 40 would allow for the state’s Medicaid recipients to have their abortions covered, as the program currently pays for abortions done in cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother. Illinois Right to Life has estimated that abortions in the state could increase by 12,000 per year. The bill would also repeal the state’s “trigger” law, which was enacted shortly after the Roe v. Wade decision and which stated that if Roe were ever overturned, the state’s policy would revert to its pre-Roe law outlawing abortion.
If H.B. 40 were signed into law and Roe was overturned by the Supreme Court, the state would still have legal abortion. The bill will still have to pass the state House and Senate and have the signature of the governor. It has the support of the state’s ACLU chapter.
According to Catholic Vote, Rauner promised “to remain neutral on social issues,” and the group maintained he should honor that promise by vetoing the bill if it passes the state legislature. “He repeatedly said he does not have a social agenda yet is already defending himself in a lawsuit for breaking this promise,” Burch stated, referring to lawsuits against the governor over a state law requiring pregnancy centers and physicians to inform clients about abortion as an option or where they can obtain an abortion.
Burch said that an “overwhelming consensus” of pro-life groups in the state will oppose Rauner if he signs H.B. 40 — or any such abortion-funding bill — into law. “The state owes $10 billion in unpaid bills, with tens of billions more in unfunded liabilities,” he stated. “Yet now politicians want to spend scarce state resources to pay for abortions. Rauner’s support of this reckless bill would rip apart the Republican Party and destroy any chance of his re-election.”