Will County Gazette

Will County Gazette

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Pro-life advocate slams bill to loosen laws against public funding of abortions

Local Government

By Hoang Tran | Dec 5, 2016

| Contributed photo

A bill in the General Assembly would allow the state to offer abortions for Medicaid recipients and state employees on state-run health insurance, though opponents of the legislation argue the state is indirectly using taxpayer money to kill children.

Michael Hansen, former vice president of the now-defunct pro-life group Right to Life of Will County, said taxpayers should not be on the hook for abortions. 

“Taxpayers’ money should not be used for abortions, period,” Hansen told the Will County Gazette. “No money should be used for abortions. That is the killing of people. How can you use taxpayer money to kill people?”

Hansen said the bill goes against every value and belief of the pro-life movement.

“The pro-life movement is not in favor of any legislative attempt to kill babies or take control over that situation,” he said. “There are always private ways and other ways babies, when they are born, can be taken care of. If a woman wants to make a choice of an abortion, state money should not be for that. Period. That’s killing babies. It’s very clear.”

HB 4013 would remove provisions in the State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971 that prohibited the use of the non-contributory portion of health-benefits expenses on abortions. The bill also would amend the Illinois Public Aid Code and the Problem Pregnancy Health Services and Care Act, both of which prohibit the state from providing abortions to Medicaid beneficiaries and forbid the state from giving grants to nonprofit groups to fund abortions.

Hansen, an attorney, said one alternative to abortion is adoption.

“They can work with private agencies for adoptions,” Hansen said. “If the parents do not want the baby, then put the baby up for adoption. It’s very simple. It’s not a matter of choice at all. Past adoptions, there are a lot of people who need financial help. That’s where you need to qualify for state aid. In that situation or later on in life, once you have children, they may have to get state help.”

Many opponents of abortion have said the state should provide incentives or aid to parents or mothers unprepared for children so that raising a child would be less of a financial challenge. Hansen said such initiatives would be helpful, but that people should not solely rely on the state to take care of things.

“Any of those types of program would be very good,” he said. “However, we have to also have a lot more concentration on private sources helping these people. I don’t know that state taxpayers should always have to pay for these people. They have to try and help themselves and somehow -- in many instances, but not all -- try and provide funding for these situations.”

Hansen said there is readily available assistance for unwanted pregnancies and that people just need to seek it out.

“There are a lot of services,” Hansen said. “There are a lot of people willing to help. They just have to find these agencies and people who are willing to help and then they’ll be able to attract funding and assistance to do so. You can’t just rely on government to do everything.”

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