Abortion bill meant to distract from financial failures, McDermed claims
Rep. Margo McDermed (R-Mokena) says the Democratically controlled General Assembly is doing all it can to distract the lllinois people from its lack of answers to the state's financial woes, including passing legislation to keep abortions legal in a hypothetical situation.
“This bill is just a diversion," McDermed told the Will County Gazette. "It’s trying to turn people’s attention from what is really happening in Illinois by trying to focus them on what is happening at the federal level, which is not our business. We need to take care of our own business here in Illinois."
House Bill 40, which is now in the Senate after House passage, is sponsored by Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago). She has said it is intended to protect abortion rights should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Roe v. Wade. The legislation expands abortion coverage to Medicaid patients and state employees and removes previous legislative language declaring an unborn child to be a human being.
Rep. Sheri Jesiel (R-Winthrop Harbor) has argued that HB40 removes humanity from the unborn child and forces taxpayers to cover the cost of abortions despite their views on the procedure.
In a poll by the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, 61 percent of respondents were against public funding for abortions, including 40 percent who identified as pro-choice.
McDermed said no one she has talked to has voiced support for HB40.
“Constituents have been calling and emailing me, and I do not have any significant support for taxpayer-funded elective abortions," she said.