Lawmaker seeks abortion-bill vote as women march on Capitol

The bill also allows state employees to use health insurance for abortions and for the use of Medicaid funds to cover abortion procedures.

As those women descended on Springfield, Gov. Rauner wasn't around.

A vote Tuesday would coincide with the Illinois Women March on Springfield. The legislation also commits to maintain legal abortion in the event that the U.S. Supreme Court overturns it, the Catholic News Agency details.

"The intent ... is to protect women from a president who has been very, very clear about his desire to overturn Roe v Wade and make abortion illegal in some states", said state Representative Sara Feigenholtz, a Chicago Democrat and the bill's chief House sponsor.

Lawmakers in the Illinois House advanced a bill Tuesday that proponents say would safeguard abortion rights for women, along with expanding options for low-income women.

Republican state Rep. Peter Breen of Lombard says Medicaid-funded abortions do not qualify for federal match so the measure would cost IL an extra $60 million a year. As the state nears the two year mark without a budget, Rev. Jesse Jackson told the crowd he's trying to broker a summit between the parties. "Today, we stated unequivocally that access to safe legal abortion will remain protected in IL". He says the reason IL is one of the slowest states when it comes to creating jobs is due to bad polices and regulation. "Should it come from cancer screenings ... will it come from necessary surgeries?"

During the debate, Democratic Majority Leader Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie of Chicago read from a statement she said Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner made during his 2014 run for governor in support of ensuring women can access abortion services regardless of income level. Last week, Rauner said he would veto the measure, citing "sharp divisions of opinion of taxpayer funding of abortion". That agenda covers a multitude of issues advocates say would improve women's lives including protecting immigrant rights, increasing the minimum wage and ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment.

Paul Caprio, director of Family-Pac, a lobbying group in IL, said in a news release earlier this month that he commends Rauner's decision to oppose the bill.

  • Wendy Palmer