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Pro-Abortion Legislation Headed To Gov. Rauner

Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, made what she called an "economic" argument for the abortion legislation debated Wednesday in the Illinois Senate.
Brian Mackey
/
NPR Illinois
Sen. Toi Hutchinson, D-Olympia Fields, made what she called an "economic" argument for the abortion legislation debated Wednesday in the Illinois Senate.

A controversial abortion measure was approved Wednesday in the Illinois Senate. It would expand government funding of the procedure.

Brian Mackey reports on legislation meant to protect and expand abortion rights in Illinois.

The legislation has two goals. One would repeal a so-called “trigger” in state law — which Democrats argue could automatically outlaw abortion should Roe v. Wade ever be overturned.

The other would expand public funding of abortion to include state employees and lower-income women on government health plans.

Many Republicans, like Sen. Jil Tracy of Quincy, found that particularly objectionable.

“At a time when we cannot find money to fund our schools, why would we use taxpayer money to fund abortions of children?” Tracy asked.

But Sen. Toi Hutchinson, a Democrat from Olympia Fields, made what she called an “economic argument” for the legislation.

"We find that many people who are in this situation cite as their example — the need to do this — financial ones," Hutchinson said. "And many of them already have children. So in your pro-life argument, I would ask you to consider that there’s not just one life there."

House Bill 40 passed the Senate on a vote of 33-22, and now goes to Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The public funding proposal puts Rauner on the spot. Although he supported that basic idea during the 2014 campaign, he’s recently changed his stance. He says because public opinion is divided on the matter, he intends to veto it.

Copyright 2017 NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Brian Mackey covers Illinois state government and politics from the WUIS Statehouse bureau. He was previously A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. He can be reached at (217) 206-6020.
Brian Mackey
Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.