On Thursday, 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,” said Rauner.
This is a major milestone for Pro Choice advocates who support women’s access to proper medical resources in their reproductive rights.
“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.”
In the fight against stricter federal regulations, Welch emphasize. “The 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.”
In Gov. Rauner’s official statement, the Republican leader says, “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.
Both Democratic Gubernatorial candidates, JB Pritzker and Chris Kennedy chimed in on HB 40. Pritzker released a statement on the recent HB 40 bill signing. “Let’s be clear: Bruce Rauner threatened to veto HB 40 and only got around to doing the right thing after an organized advertising and grassroots campaign. Today’s announcement does not change the fact that Bruce Rauner’s only sense of morality is whatever panders best to voters.”
“Finally, after decades of living in doubt about whether Roe v. Wade would be the law of the state of Illinois, women have the certainty they deserve – the certainty that they will have reproductive freedom if Roe were overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Reproductive freedom is a fundamental right and it leads to economic freedom for women across Illinois. This is only possible because of the power of people from throughout the state who came together to stand up to Bruce Rauner and fight for the rights of women.”
Mayor Rahm Emanuel:
“I want to thank Governor Rauner for standing up for choice, reproductive rights and equitable access to health care for all. Women’s access to quality, affordable health care should always remain above partisan politics. The Governor’s decision to sign HB40 into law was a significant step forward for women’s health.”
State Senator Toi Hutchinson (D – Chicago Heights):
“On May 10, when House Bill 40 was debated in the Illinois Senate, I said that there is nothing more intrinsic to freedom than bodily autonomy. Our ability to make our own decisions with advisors whom we chose to make the best decisions for ourselves and our families must be fiercely protected regardless of income.
“Today, Governor Rauner agreed with me and thousands of women and men who stood up and used the most powerful tool we have: our voices. Thanks to those voices, House Bill 40 will become law in Illinois. We did it!”
Others feel disappointed by this latest move by the governor. The Catholic church has been an avid opponent of abortion rights and Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich shared his dismay with Rauner over the signed bill.