25 April 2017 marked a sad day in the history and future of the State of Illinois as the House passed HB 40, a bill that would not only make abortion legal in Illinois should Roe v. Wade be overturned but would also allow taxpayer dollars to be used to pay for abortions. Yesterday marked yet another sad day in the history and future of Illinois as HB 40 passed the Senate less than twenty-four hours after it cleared the Senate committee.
Following its unfortunate passage, the Catholic Conference of Illinois issued the following statement, with my emphases:
We are dismayed the Illinois Senate followed the House in passing House Bill 40, which allows taxpayer monies to pay for elective abortions in the Medicaid program and state employees’ health insurance plans. Public opinion polls regularly show little support for this public policy move. We thank Governor Bruce Rauner for his promise to veto House Bill 40, and we will continue to make our voices heard in the coming days about this troubling legislation.
I hope and pray the Governor will hold to his promise.
His Excellency the Most Reverend Thomas John Paprocki, Bishop of Springfield in Illinois, also released statement shortly after the passage of HB 40 (with my emphases):
The hasty manner in which this appalling legislation that forces taxpayers to pay for abortions was rubber stamped today by the Illinois Senate shows the disregard most Illinois legislators have for the sanctity of human life. Thirty-three Senate votes in favor mirrors the majority that HB 40 received in the Illinois House just last week. I applaud the courage shown by 22 state senators who stood up today for life.
Make no mistake about the intent. This legislation was orchestrated to pass as quickly as possible to silence dissent on the issue of protecting the unborn by masking it behind the facade of women’s health care. It is also designed to place political pressure on the legislators who dare to stand up to lavishly-funded special interests, primarily Planned Parenthood of Illinois. Passage is also designed to intimidate Gov. Bruce Rauner with the threat that he will jeopardize his political future if he fulfills his promise to veto HB 40.
We ask that people of good will and the love of God join me in praying for Gov. Rauner to follow through and to protect the unborn children of this state.
You can found out how your Senator voted here; I am happy to say my Senator voted against this heinous legislation.
If your Senator voted in favor of HB 40, please contact him or her to offer a kind word of rebuke; if he or she voted against HB 40, please contact your Senator to offer a word of gratitude and encouragement. Either way, make it know that you will remember this vote at the next election. Please also write to the Governor to encourage him to keep his word.