SPRINGFIELD - The idea of standing firm against Illinois' latest taxpayer subsidy for women on Medicaid and state employee health care plans is meeting angry resistance from the abortion lobby in Springfield.
State Rep. Peter Breen (R-Lombard) suggested earlier this week that taxpayer funding of abortions be separated out of the state budget for a vote on its own. The amount that has not yet been appropriated by the currently negotiated state budget would pay for approximately 30,000 abortions. The idea to block the funding was backed by fellow House members Tuesday while it was blasted by the abortion lobby - which attacked Rep. Breen on Twitter:
Personal PAC, the pro-abortion political action group that financially supports radical pro-abortion lawmakers and candidates, said women are not Breen's "bargaining chips" and called on lawmakers to #SAVEHB40. HB 40 is the measure Democrats alone passed to Governor Rauner's desk, were he signed the bill into law setting women on Medicaid and state employee health plans for free, unrestricted abortions.
Tuesday, Rep. Breen was joined by Republican House members Tom Morrison (R), Jeanne Ives (R) Allen Skillicorn (R), Mark Batinick (R), Margo McDermed (R), C.D. Davidsmeyer (R), Sheri Jesiel (R) and Jerry Long (R), as well as three Democrat House members Jerry Costello (D), Monica Bristow (D) and Natalie Phelps-Finnie (D), to state their united opposition to the inclusion of taxpayer funds for elective abortion services in the FY 2019 budget.
“This is an issue we feel very strongly about,” said Morrison. “We have been talking with our respective leadership and budget negotiation teams for weeks about this, and we are asking that our objections and moral convictions be respected. Forcing taxpayers to pay for elected abortions in spite of all of our other budgetary priorities is something we felt we needed to raise attention to.”
Specifically, Morrison and his colleagues suggested various ways that a budget could be formulated in a manner that would allow pro-life lawmakers to vote their moral convictions while still voting on the integrity of the rest of the budget. Solutions included an up or down vote on a single item appropriation of taxpayer funding for abortions, separating the budget into several different silos, or including language similar to the federal Hyde-amendment to the budget implementation (BIMP) bill.
Rep. Jerry Costello (D) said he would not vote for a budget that includes funding for abortions and that he did not support HB 40 when it passed the Illinois House. "This is a moral issue for me," Costello said.
The abortion funding is not reimbursed by federal taxpayer money, and the number of out-of-state abortions is increasing, according to a recent Chicago Tribune report.
Personal PAC is launching a public effort to squelch any such budgetary process.