By Rich C. Baker -
Illinois Medicaid already covers abortions in cases of rape, incest, and when the mother’s life is threatened by the pregnancy. The Hyde Amendment prevents federal funds from being used to fund abortions outside those instances, so to circumvent that, Illinois citizens are now going to help pay for those abortions. How did this come about? After promises and reassurance that he would veto HB 40, Illinois Governor Rauner signed HB 40 into law on September 28, 2017, making Illinois the first state to provide taxpayer-funded abortions to those on Medicaid.
Governor Rauner’s failure to keep his word is a betrayal against his constituents, the Republican Party, (every Republican state representative voted against the bill), and to pro-life conservatives state-wide. In response to this betrayal, a number of Illinois Republican politicians and grassroots organizations have spoken out, saying that they will no longer support him. As an alternative, Republican State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), West Point graduate and married mother of five, has announced that she is challenging Rauner in the 2018 March Republican primary as the true fiscal conservative and pro-family candidate.
Since Rauner’s decision to sign HB 40 into law, our firm has received phone calls asking for guidance. What can be done? According to State Representative Peter Breen, (R- Lombard) there is little likelihood of a constitutional challenge to the bill. However, there is a legal challenge underway as to the start date for the taxpayer funding of abortions seeking its further delay from January to June of 2018. If delayed, Representative Breen says this would save 1000’s of babies lives. Representatives Breen and Senator Dan McConchie have also introduced the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act to stop the funding. Additionally, the federal Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, now before the U.S. Congress, if passed, would ban abortions after 20 weeks which would also lessen the effect of HB 40.
So what’s to be done? Mauck & Baker, has represented a number of pro-life individuals and organizations that refuse to perform or promote abortion. Currently, it has challenged another law recently passed under Rauner’s watch, SB 1564, which mandates abortion referrals to expectant mothers who go to a pro-life pregnancy center. While refusing to pay Illinois taxes because of HB 40 is not an option, getting involved in the political process to replace Governor Rauner with a true conservative and pro-family candidate is.
Rich C. Baker is an attorney at the law firm Mauck & Baker