Judge Upholds Controversial Bill Requiring Taxpayers to Fund Abortions in Illinois

In this Dec. 17, 2013, photo, an unidentified medical clinician interviews a patient at a Planned Parenthood location in Boston. The regulation of protests outside abortion clinics returns to the Supreme Court for the first time since 2000 to find the justices seemingly more protective of speech and less committed …
AP Photo/Steven Senne

An Illinois Circuit Court judge rejected an attempt to block House Bill 40, which requires Illinois residents to pay for abortions regardless of their moral convictions in the matter.

The bill forces Illinois state residents to fund abortions of Medicaid recipients and state employee health insurance beneficiaries and sets no expense ceiling nor a limit on the number of abortions that Medicaid will cover.

On Thursday, a conservative, pro-life law firm filed for an emergency injunction concerning a recent lawsuit — Springfield Right to Life v. Norwood — in which the plaintiffs are seeking a restraining order and injunction against the bill.

Associate Judge Jennifer M. Ascher of Illinois’s Seventh Judicial Circuit Court heard the case Thursday and denied the request for an emergency injunction.

As Breitbart News reported in September, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner — a Republican — signed HB40 into law, breaking his promise not to support the law and angering the pro-life base of his party.

On signing the bill, Rauner acknowledged that he has been a longstanding supporter of abortion and that the abortion-funding legislation was consistent with his “values.”

“I personally am pro-choice. I always have been,” Rauner said. “I have not and never will change my views.”

Rauner said that the state should fund abortions because wealthy women should not have reproductive options not shared by poor women. “I believe that a woman living with limited financial means should not be put in the position where she has to choose something different than a woman of higher income would be able to choose,” he said.

According to Illinois House Republican Floor Leader, Peter Breen, the new law will oblige taxpayers to foot the bill for “an expected 20,000 to 30,000” abortions per year. The Department of Healthcare and Family Services has estimated the annual cost of abortions to Illinois taxpayers will be approximately $1.8 million.

Breen also noted that Illinois risks an unfunded state budget thanks to the new law, adding that the governor’s promises not to sign the bill “were just flat out lies.”

“Even apart from the sincere moral objections that many folks have to paying [sic] for abortions, there is no money in the Illinois state budget to pay for them,” he said in a statement on the Thomas More Society website.

Representative Jeanne Ives followed suit, declaring that the governor’s decision “to break his promise and sign taxpayer funded abortion on-demand is a profound and unprecedented betrayal beyond words.”

Thursday’s request for an emergency injunction was filed by the Thomas More Society (TMS), the same law firm that had initiated a taxpayer lawsuit against Illinois officials together with the Springfield Catholic Diocese, in an effort to block the hastily passed law from going into effect on January 1.

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