ILLINOIS (KFVS) - After months of anticipation, Gov Rauner finally took action with the abortion bill. Yesterday he signed House Bill 40 into law.
The bill will allow the state to cover abortions for its employees and Medicaid recipients. It would also protect access to abortion in Illinois if Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision legalizing it be overturned.
"I understand abortion is a very emotional issue with passionate opinions on both sides. I sincerely respect those who believe abortion is morally wrong. They are good people motivated by principle," said Rauner. "But, as I have always said, I believe a woman should have the right to make that choice herself and I do not believe that choice should be determined by income. I do not think it's fair to deny poor women the choice that wealthy women have.That is why I am signing HB40."
Emily Kircher is a local advocate for women's rights. She explains, "Nobody wants to have an abortion...like nobody like yes, I'm going to go get pregnant and go have an abortion because that is a fun thing to do. I mean this is a serious issue that women need to think about."
Kircher says the new law is a good thing for women, especially lower income."I'm thrilled that Rauner signed that bill – it's a huge step for women's rights because having an abortion should be a choice of a women and it shouldn't be limited to people who have the funds," Kircher explains.
But many conservatives, like State Representative Terri Bryant, are angry with the governor because she says he didn't keep his word.
Rep. Bryant, "You don't go and meet with legislators and say that you're going to veto the bill…and then turn around and sign the bill. …this has never been a political issue for me personally. I'm not going to speak about anybody else's politics. This is not a political issue. This is a matter of the sanctity of life."
As a candidate, Governor Rauner supported expanding coverage for abortions, but earlier this year he said he would veto the bill.
Bryant explains, "It's going to cost the state of IL billions of new dollars that we don't have", but Kircher disagrees, "I think that Taxpayers we live in a society – we need to put in money so we have social services that's just part of the social contract we live in."
Rauner says he understands the moral objections to abortion, but signed the bill because he believes all women should have the same health care options.