Abortion foe says bill turns insurance into birth control
Lore Griffiths believes Illinois legislators pushing the expansion of abortion rights through House Bill 40 is a case of looking to solve a problem that doesn’t exist.
“Medicaid already covers abortions in cases of emergencies, and that should be considered more than enough," the Will County Right to Life president told the Will County Gazette. “To expand the coverage to include all cases of abortions is to have the insurance serve as a form of birth control. It makes no sense.”
Sponsored by Democrats, the bill would allow Medicaid recipients and state employees to use taxpayer money to pay for elective abortion procedures. It also removes language mandating that an unborn child is legally considered a human being.
With the support of Reps. Linda Chapa Lavia (D-Aurora) and Stephanie Kifowit (D-Oswego) and Sen. Linda Holmes (D-Aurora), the bill has now passed the House and Senate, but Gov. Bruce Rauner has vowed to veto it.
Rauner appears to have public sentiment on his side. A series of recent public opinion polls found that most Americans are against the idea of publicly funded abortions, with a Marist Institute survey concluding that 61 percent of all respondents were opposed, including 40 percent who identified as pro-choice.
Currently, 15 states fund elective abortions for Medicaid participants, 11 of which are acting on the orders of the court, not the legislature.
HB40 was introduced by Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), who has said her actions were at least partly motivated by what’s happening at the federal level and what she perceives to be the Trump Administration’s plan to strip abortion rights.
Griffiths sees HB 40 causing more harm than help.
“People are already leaving the state because of all the high taxes, and taking on the added cost and burden of expanding abortion will only make matters worse,” she said. “There’s no good reason why the state would be moving to spend more money for something like this. It’s an extra health benefit for some that no one else gets.”
Early estimates show the bill would cost taxpayers $60 million to fund the measure.
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