SPRINGFIELD - Last month, during the House Human Services' Committee hearing on HB 40, State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) explained to her colleagues why she had an abortion and why she supports taxpayer funding of abortion.
UPDATE: Catholic Conference's Bob Gilligan responded to Cassidy's assertion ...
"I had to have that abortion to preserve my fertility," Cassidy, a co-sponsor of the bill, said. "I didn't want to have an abortion, I wanted to have those two babies. But I wanted to survive and I wanted to maintain my fertility." (Audio recording of Cassidy's testimony follows)
Currently, Illinois law allows taxpayer-funded abortions for the health of the mother as well as cases of rape and incest.
UPDATE: Catholic Citizen's lobbyist Bob Gilligan says the procedure Rep. Cassidy referred to in her comments is not considered an abortion. He commented on Illinois Review:
State Rep. Kelly Cassidy asserted in the Sun Times that she had an abortion when she had a blighted ovum and an ectopic pregnancy removed. These procedures are not abortions. A blighted ovum contains no embryo, so a human life is not taken. It's a tumor that is removed from the uterus, and this is a standard gynecological procedure. Removal of an ectopic pregnancy, where the embryo implants in the fallopian tube and cannot be saved, is also a standard procedure already covered by insurance. These procedures would not be affected whether the public pays for abortions or not.
Cassidy is now mother to three sons she eventually had after aborting her first pregnancy with twins. She has been a state rep since 2011, and serves on 11 House committees.
Her legislative biography says that Cassidy is an "LGBT rights activist and organizer; former legislative director for the National Organization for Women; former legislative aide to state Sen. John Cullerton; former Deputy Director of Intergovernmental Affairs and Director of Programs and Development in the Cook County State's Attorney's Office; only openly gay female legislator serving in the General Assembly."
"I want everyone in the state to have the choices I had," she said.
HB 40 would not only require taxpayers fund abortions for women on Medicaid and women that are employed by state government, it would remove a passage in Illinois law that declares "that the unborn child is a human being from the time of conception and is, therefore, a legal person for purposes of the unborn child's right to life from conception under the laws and Constitution of this State."
Among other purposes, that provision provides a legal basis for protecting unborn children that suffer harm via assaults of their mothers, vehicular accidents and the like.
It also determines that if the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn the 1973 Roe vs Wade decision, and the states were given authority to legalize abortion, in Illinois, abortion would be become illegal.
Over 8200 persons filed witness slips in favor of HB 40. About 3500 have filed slips in opposition to the bill. HB 40 passed committee February 8th along partisan lines, and now awaits a vote on the Illinois House floor. Senate passage is assumed and Governor Rauner has not declared whether he would sign the bill or not.
The section to be deleted if HB40 become law is as follows: