Illinois Bill Enshrining Abortion Rights Passes Senate, Moving to Governor’s Desk

Posted on May 11, 2017

On Wednesday, a bill which would ensure the right to abortion should the US Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision be overturned passed the Illinois State Senate, according to a report by the Chicago Sun-Times. In addition to amending the Abortion Law of 1975 to remove a passage which would automatically outlaw abortion in the event that the US Supreme Court reverses its ruling on Roe v. Wade, the bill, known by its Illinois House title House Bill 40 (HB0040), would also guarantee coverage for abortion procedures under the state Medicaid fund. With its passage on Wednesday, the measure now heads to Governor Bruce Rauner’s desk.

In spite of campaigning as a pro-choice candidate, the Republican governor has promised to veto the measure on the grounds that the state of Illinois cannot afford to place the burden of abortion coverage under Medicaid on taxpayers in light of the state’s ongoing budget gridlock. Democrats and pro-choice activists, however, contend that Rauner is using these supposed budgetary concerns as an excuse to placate his party’s pro-life base. In a bid for compromise, Rauner offered to sign the bill if the language mandating Medicaid cover abortions was removed, but the bill’s author, Representative Sara Feigenholtz, rejected the offer.