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Gov. Rauner signs controversial abortion bill

Gov. Rauner signs controversial abortion bill (WICS)
Gov. Rauner signs controversial abortion bill (WICS)
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Governor Bruce Rauner announcing at a press conference Thursday that he has signed a controversial abortion bill, House Bill 40.

"Today I am announcing I am signing House Bill 40," Gov. Bruce Rauner, R-Illinois, said.

House Bill 40 would make changes to existing laws. The bill expands abortion coverage for women insured by Medicaid and the State Employees Group Insurance.

Governor Bruce Rauner made the following statement concerning his decision to sign House Bill 40:

“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.
“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.
“This is not a new position – I campaigned on this principle in 2014 and it is a principle I have tried to live up to throughout my life.
“I have spent the past couple of months talking to people on both sides of this issue. I have also spent a lot of time meeting with women across Illinois and listening to their personal stories, particularly low-income women who do not have the same luxuries that many of us have. Their stories and their struggles are real and they have touched me in a very personal way. They deserve to have a choice as much as anyone else.
“I know there will be many people who disagree and I respect their opinions. I respect their passion. It is my hope that good people can disagree respectfully and can come together on other important issues that affect our state.”

State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz, D-Chicago, issued the following statement after Governor Bruce Rauner announced he will sign House Bill 40 into law:

“After repeated threats to overturn Roe vs. Wade by President Trump, today, Governor Rauner chose to protect Illinois women by agreeing to sign HB40 to keep abortion safe, legal and accessible to all Illinois women. Signing this legislation is necessary to safeguard a woman’s right to make decisions that affect her personal health in Illinois,” said Rep. Feigenholtz.
“I am grateful that Governor Rauner has finally realized how important this legislation is to women in the current political climate. Governor Rauner has decided to stick to his original promise, and his decision will help ensure women continue to have access to all reproductive care.”

Lorie Chaiten, Director of the Reproductive Rights Project, ACLU of Illinois, released the following statement:

“The ACLU enthusiastically applauds Governor Rauner for signing HB 40 and, in doing so, helping women throughout the entire State of Illinois. We applaud him for taking time to listen to the stories of women who have been denied access to basic health care, including abortion care, simply because they receive their insurance from the State of Illinois. This deliberative, thoughtful process – and learning about the experiences of women struggling to get by – clearly affected the Governor’s decision.
Because of the Governor’s action today, women across Illinois are empowered to make their own health care and life choices without interference from politicians. We are pleased the Governor has stood with these women and made the right decision for our state.”

Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider released the following statement after Governor Rauner announced he will be signing House Bill 40 into law:

“I am disappointed in the Governor’s decision to sign HB40 as the Illinois Republican Party opposes taxpayer-funded abortions.
"While I am frustrated and saddened, I also know that Speaker Madigan and the Democrats are trying to use this issue to divide our party and elect a Madigan-backed candidate for governor.
"As Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, I will not let that happen. Our state faces great challenges, and we are focused on the issues that unite us as Republicans and as Illinoisans. There is no daylight between Governor Rauner and the Illinois Republican Party and we will continue working hard to ensure his reelection and finally defeat Mike Madigan once and for all.”

The following is a statement by Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady on the signing of House Bill 40.

“I voted against House Bill 40 and do not support the legislation,” said Brady. “While we disagree on this issue, and while I am disappointed, I stand ready to work with the Governor on the key economic issues and other challenges facing Illinois.”

The following statement can be attributed to Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti in response to Governor Rauner’s decision to sign HB 40.

“As a pro-life Republican, I disagree with the Governor’s decision to sign HB 40. I wouldn’t be here today if it weren’t for a 15-year-old refugee who chose to have me and keep me.
“I realize this bill is a political ploy to divide the people of Illinois. While I disagree with the Governor on this, we must focus on our areas of agreement – enacting real reforms we need to turn Illinois around.”

Cullerton issued the following statement in response to Gov. Bruce Rauner signing HB 40.

“These protections ensure women have access to the reproductive health care of their choice regardless of economic status. It is an important step forward here in Illinois at a time when so much at the national level appears to be going backward.”

Attorney General candidate Erika Harold released the following statement after Governor Rauner announced he would sign HB 40:

“The Governor personally reached out to me about his decision, and I know he did not reach it easily. While we disagree on this issue, there remains much on which we agree - and that is what unites us as Republicans. We both agree on the need to make Illinois more competitive, we agree on the need to lift up the less fortunate and we agree on the need to crack down on corruption and wrongdoing. As I have stated several times in the past, as Attorney General, I will enforce all of the laws of the state.”

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After Thursday's news that Governor Bruce Rauner signed HB 40, Susan Wynn Bence, president of the Illinois Federation of Republican Women, released the following statement:

"As the president of the largest Republican women's organization in the state of Illinois, it is disappointing that Governor Bruce Rauner signed HB 40 without heeding the guidance of our organization and its members. An organization that values life. Not only is this bill contentious by all accounts, but the fiscal ramifications of the bill are still unknown. The focus should be on guiding Illinois to a solid fiscal footing; instead, democrats continue to push divisive policies that endanger our state and its fiscal viability."
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