Pro-life groups continue fight against Illinois abortion law

Peter Breen answers questions from the media following Wednesday's oral arguments. (Rachel Droze)

Debate over taxpayer funding for abortions continued Wednesday in an Illinois courtroom.

Arguments were heard in the Fourth District Appellate Court in Springfield on if House Bill 40 violates the Constitution.

HB40 was signed into law in September 2017.

It expanded abortion coverage for women insured by Medicaid and the State Employees Group Insurance.

Anti-abortion groups argue the state can’t fund House Bill 40 because the General Assembly didn’t set aside funds to pay for these taxpayer-funded abortions.

A trial judge dismissed the case earlier this year.

Now the appellate court is reviewing that decision.

The justices questioned that argument and said it could put the entire state budget in jeopardy.

“You can’t just parts out one section, House Bill 40,” Appellate Judge Craig DeArmond said. “The entire preparation, the entire $34.39 billion appropriation that the state had been operating under is invalid.”

State Rep. Peter Breen, R-Lombard, is representing the plaintiffs in the case.

He said this case isn’t meant to void the budget, but he agrees it could set a precedent.

“This very well may be the most important case about our fiscal process in the General Assembly in recent memory,” Breen said. “If we are able to prevail then the General Assembly will have to estimate revenues at the beginning of the budget process.”

Now that oral arguments wrapped up, the court will look over the case.

There’s no timeframe for when a decision will come.

They can take months to be issued.

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