Gov. Bruce Rauner signed a bill last week that expands abortion coverage for those covered under Medicaid and state employee insurance.
Rauner has drawn ire from many pro-life conservatives including state lawmakers for signing the bill after previously signaling that he would veto HB40.
Pat Conklin a leader of local anti-abortion group Knox County Right to Life says that some estimates say this will increase abortions by as much as 12,000.
She also opposes this bill because she says it could tax payers an extra $1.8 million a year.
Pat’s husband Dick, also a leader in Knox County Right to Life says that Rauner misled the pro-life movement, saying “We knew he wasn’t pro-life. But he said fiscally he couldn’t justify the state paying for abortions. So that is the – I think – basis on which many of us in the Pro-Life movement supported him in the general election, and so then he did this turn-about.”
Dick says that in his estimation this badly damages Rauner’s chances of re-election in 2018, saying that it doesn’t make a difference to the pro-life movement if by running a primary opponent they put Democrats in a better position to win the governorship “We’re going to lose the election. I don’t think Rauner can win, and I think if Rauner wins – what have we won? We’ve basically got a Democrat in Republican clothing.”
He added, “So I don’t see the Republican party or Pro-Lifers losing by running another candidate.”
He says that pro-life voters have about a six point swing over pro-choice voters which would be enough to ruin his chances in a Democrat-leaning state.
State Rep. Jeanne Ives has been rumored to run against Rauner in the primary, a candidacy which the Conklins say Knox County Right to Life would likely support.
Rauner said that we couldn’t force women of a lower income to make different choices for her health than a woman of a higher income level.
Dick says that there are pregnancy centers, agencies and churches across the state that will support women and children so it’s a “false comparison.”
They note that they only educate their members on issues, but each member vote on candidates of their personal preference.