CHICAGO (Sept. 28, 2017) —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."
Planned Parenthood thanks Gov. Rauner for signing HB 40 into law
CHICAGO - Today, Governor Rauner took the important step of signing HB 40 and safeguarding the right of a woman to safe and legal abortion regardless of how much money she makes or where she lives.
"Thank you Governor Rauner for signing HB 40," said Planned Parenthood of Illinois President and CEO, Jennifer Welch. "With access to abortion under attack at the federal level, it is essential to make sure that women will have access to safe and legal abortion in Illinois."
HB 40 repeals the "trigger" language in the Illinois Abortion law of 1975, which stated that Illinois would revert back to criminalizing abortion if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the decision in Roe v. Wade. The authority to outlaw or severely restrict abortion would return to the states, if the court were to overturn Roe. HB 40 ensures that no matter what happens, federally, abortion will remain legal in Illinois. In addition, HB 40 strikes bans on abortion coverage by the Illinois' Medicaid and State Employee Health Insurance programs. Coverage bans were enacted in the 1970s by politicians who wanted to keep as many women as possible from accessing abortion without running afoul of the Roe decision.
"HB 40 ends the discriminatory practice of denying women coverage based on how much money she makes or where she works," explained Welch. "Whether she has private or government-funded health insurance, every woman should have access to a full range of pregnancy-related care, including abortion."
Since the 2010 elections, anti-abortion politicians have focused on restricting access to abortion in states across the country according to the Guttmacher Institute. Over 30 percent of all abortion restrictions enacted since the 1973 Supreme Court decision in Roe v. Wade came in just the last six years.
"By enacting HB 40," summarized Welch. "Illinois is sending a very clear message a woman, not politicians, should make decisions when it comes to her own pregnancy."
Chicago Women Claim Victory and Relief at Rauner Signing of HB40
Chicago ( September 28, 2017 ) With a sense of relief and elation, Chicago Women Take Action, thanked Governor Rauner for listening to the voices of women and signing HB40, the bill that protects women's access to abortion and provides access to women whose insurance needs are met with state funds.
"As one of the many women's groups that worked on the passage of HB40, we are elated that Governor Rauner listened to the voices of women and signed the Bill that protects and expands abortion rights.
No woman should be denied the right to full health care services because of whom she works for or how she pays for her insurance. " said Marilyn Katz, a co-convener of Chicago Women Take Action ( CWTA ) and long-time activist.
For those who do not know HB40 does two important things. On the one hand, and most widely known, it ends an automatic trigger that would have made abortion illegal if Roe v Wade, the current guiding legal decision for the nation, were ever over-turned by an act of the Supreme Court or Congress. Equally, and more immediately important, HB40 ends the prohibition of state funds being used to pay for abortion services, which for the past decades has meant that both those employees whose health insurance came from the state and those on state funded healthcare programs, like Medicaid, were denied the right to abortion.
At a time when women's health services are under assault in nearly 40 states across the nation, we are proud to live in one where the voices of women are not only loud ones, but ones that are listened to and acted upon.
For more information about Chicago Women Take Action go to ChicagoWomenTakeAction.com .
The Women's March on Chicago Press Release Regarding HB 40
September 28, 2017 (CHICAGO, Ill.) The Women's March on Chicago celebrates the passage of HB 40 and applauds the efforts of women and their allies who have worked tirelessly to lobby for access to reproductive choice for women of all income levels in Illinois. The Women's March on Chicago is a proud member of a coalition effort which effectively lobbied for the passage of HB 40.
Organizers believe that the women-led grassroots coalition effort, who marched on Springfield in April, among other efforts, placed tremendous pressure on Governor Rauner to keep his pro-choice campaign promises to the women of Illinois. "We are pleased that the Governor honored his campaign promise to the women of Illinois, and we credit our grassroots coalition for actively reminding him of it" said WMC Steering Committee Member Jessica Scheller. Thousands of women across Illinois placed phone calls, wrote post cards and marched across the State for women's reproductive rights. This victory belongs to them.
"Our efforts included action postcards, lobbying legislators, phone campaigns organized through Facebook, as well as the Illinois Women March on Springfield on April 22, 2017. In our FB group, this topic appears more frequently than nearly any other," according to Emily Kraiem, WMC Social Media Director.
Illinois marchers honored their promise of January 21 to stand together for women's civil liberties and rights and to signal that reproductive choice and dignity belong to all women of Illinois regardless of their income. Together, we march on.
Steering Committee Women's March on Chicago
Chicago Foundation for Women Statement on Illinois House Bill 40
CHICAGO, IL (September 28, 2017) Statement on the signing of Illinois House Bill 40 from Chicago Foundation for Women:
Chicago Foundation for Women thanks Illinois Representative Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago) and State Senator Heather Steans (D-Chicago) for sponsoring legislation to protect reproductive choice for all Illinois women, regardless of their income or type of insurance, as well as thanks Governor Rauner for keeping his promise to women by signing House Bill 40 into law.
"For too long, Illinois law discriminated against women with government-funded insurance and denied health coverage for the full range of reproductive health care, including abortion," CFW President/CEO K. Sujata said. "Access to safe, quality abortion care, as protected by House Bill 40, is critical to women's health and economic security."
Restricting Medicaid coverage of abortion forced one in four poor women seeking abortion to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term, and one in three women who pay for abortion care out-of-pocket report delaying paying bills such as rent and food.
"No one should have to make a choice between keeping food on the table or getting safe, quality care," added Sujata.
Thank you to everyone who fought for this critical legislation, and who continue to fight for basic rights and equal opportunities for all women and girls.
About Chicago Foundation for Women: Chicago Foundation for Women invests in women and girls as catalysts, building strong communities for all. CFW funds organizations working to solve the biggest problems facing women and girls: economic insecurity, violence, and access to health care and information. In addition to grantmaking, CFW invests in developing women leaders and advocates, and brings together diverse coalitions to collaborate, share resources and develop solutions.
Illinois Grassroots Unite in Victory with Passage of HB40
CHICAGO Indivisible Illinois thanks Governor Rauner and celebrates the passage of HB40, the bill that protects women's reproductive rights in Illinois and ensures access to abortion services to those who rely on state funds for insurance.
"This victory is claimed by all those who took a stance and held Governor Rauner to his word to protect a woman's right to choose in Illinois regardless of threats from the Trump administration to take them away. Activists took actions across the state by writing letters, making calls and hosting events to show the power of the grassroots. From healthcare to women's reproductive rights, we know that organizing and people power will always win over money. This was not one organization but many standing indivisible. Our many thanks to volunteer activists across the state for making this happen," says Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth, Indivisible Illinois State Coordinator, Chicago.
About Indivisible Illinois
Our mission is to fuel a progressive grassroots movement to defeat the Trump agenda. Across the nation, over 5,800 local groups (at least 2 in every congressional district) are using the Indivisible Guide to hold their members of Congress accountable. indivisibleillinois.com .
Statement from ACLU of Illinois on Signing of House Bill 40
"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."
Lorie Chaiten, Director of the Reproductive Rights Project, ACLU of Illinois