State Sen. Dale Righter says legislation that would expand abortion in Illinois and have taxpayers paying for it not only goes against federal policy but is also an attack on the sanctity of innocent life.
Under House Bill 40, which passed the Senate May 10, taxpayers would be forced to pay for all abortions, even elective abortions, for those on Medicaid and covered by state health insurances. Righter adamantly opposed the measure and spoke against it on the Senate Floor.
“This legislation is an attack on taxpayers and an attack on the unborn,” Righter said. “Polling clearly shows taxpayers don’t want to fund abortion. Even many of those who are pro-choice are in agreement. The state’s budget can’t afford any expansion of Medicaid, let alone something a majority of people don’t want to cover. You can’t have liberty and the pursuit of happiness without the first right: the right to life. This legislation walks us backward from that very principle.”
Estimates put the cost of the legislation at millions of dollars.
A poll conducted by Knights of Columbus/Marist last summer found 62 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer dollars being used to fund abortion. 45 percent of those respondents even identified themselves as pro-choice.
A poll by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in October 2016 found similar results where 58 percent of likely voters say Medicaid should not cover abortion, while only 36 percent say Medicaid should cover the procedure.
The House already passed House Bill 40 in April, so the legislation will now head to Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has said he will veto it.
“Thankfully, Gov. Rauner has said he will veto this legislation, and it doesn’t appear there are the votes in the House for lawmakers to override,” Righter said. “That said, we all must continue to speak up for the unborn and speak out against taxpayer dollars being used to fund abortion. This issue will not be going away anytime soon, especially in Illinois.”