SPRINGFIELD - Six major prolife leaders signed a statement Friday morning declaring they would withhold endorsements of Republican Senate members that voted for the ERA this week in Springfield. The lack of enthusiasm among conservatives could be even more devastating for Illinois Republicans down ballot that are already preparing for a low turnout in the fall.
The state's prolife leadership points to eight Republicans - despite self-declarations that they're 'prolife' - that the groups will not encourage voters to support in the November election: Senator Pamela Althoff (R), Senator Michael Connelly (R), Senator Karen McConnaughay (R), Senator Jason A. Barickman (R), Senator John F. Curran (R), Senator Chris Nybo (R), Senator Sue Rezin (R), and Senator Tom Rooney (R).
The statement as received by Illinois Review:
On April 11, 2018 the Illinois Senate passed the Equal Rights Amendment as Senate Joint Resolution Constitution Amendment 4 (SJRCA4). The ERA was introduced to the states in 1972. An objective reading of the language and history of the ERA makes clear that expansion of abortion rights has always been a principle objective of the ERA proponents. In 1983 when Congress attempted to re-introduce the ERA to the states, the proponents of the ERA rejected proposed abortion neutral language. The writings of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg reveal the intended scope of the ERA is to greatly increase the scrutiny of pro-life legislation.
A vote for the ERA is a vote for overturning abortion restrictions and enshrining abortion rights in the US Constitution. A vote for the ERA is a vote against the unborn child. State court judges have held that their state ERAs mandate “HB40” style taxpayer funding of elective abortions. The ERA further threatens parental notification and consent laws throughout the country, along with every reasonable regulation on abortion.
The fight now goes to the House. The Illinois Federation for Right to Life PAC, Illinois Citizens for Life PAC, Illinois Family Action PAC, and Lake County Life PAC will not endorse or support any legislator that casts a vote for such a sweeping pro-abortion piece of legislation as the ERA.
On April 11, 2018, eight Republican Senators voted for the ERA. Pro-life Illinoisans deserve political leaders who will clearly commit to the protection of innocent unborn children, and who will follow through on that commitment.
Senator Pamela Althoff (R), Senator Michael Connelly (R), Senator Karen McConnaughay (R), Senator Jason A. Barickman (R), Senator John F. Curran (R), Senator Chris Nybo (R), Senator Sue Rezin (R), and Senator Tom Rooney (R) all voted for the ERA. While we are disappointed with all 43 Senators who voted for abortion, we are gravely disturbed by those who solicited pro-life support and presented themselves as pro-life but voted for the ERA. Their vote was a vote in opposition to life and will not be ignored by the undersigned.
The leadership that signed onto the statement includes:
Dawn Behnke, Chairman of Federation for Right to Life PAC, Ralph Rivera, Chairman of Illinois Citizens for Life PAC, Bonnie Quirke, President of Lake County Life PAC, Elise Bouc, State Chairman of Illinois - Stop ERA, David E. Smith, Executive Director of Illinois Family Action PAC and Reverend Robert Vanden Bosch of Concerned Christian Americans.