Catholic Conference, other pro-life groups issue budget vote warning to stop taxpayer-funded abortions
Catholic Conference of Illinois Executive President Robert Gilligan is asking lawmakers to stand up for the values he thinks most of their constituents support when it comes to taxpayer-funded abortions.
“We feel the majority of Illinoisans do not support this and we were hoping to get a majority of legislators to oppose it as well,” Gilligan told the Prairie State Wire.
The Catholic Conference of Illinois is urging legislators not to appropriate funding for House Bill 40, the bill signed into law late last year authorizing the use of taxpayer funds for abortions through Medicaid and state employee health insurance.
In a letter penned by the Catholic Conference and other pro-life groups, Gilligan warned lawmakers that the issue remains far from settled.
“This issue is not going away,” he said. “I think people thought after the bill was passed we would go quietly in the night; we’re not.”
Gilligan said releasing the letter now is all part of a strategic plan by supporters.
“With the legislative session winding down, there are substantial negotiations going on about the budget, which programs will be funded and which will not,” he said. “We put forth the letter to remind lawmakers that they have yet another opportunity to make sure taxpayer funds do not go to take an unborn child’s life.”
With at least some lawmakers expected to be home in their districts over the Memorial Day weekend, Gilligan is urging voters to “get in front of a lawmaker” to make their feelings heard.
“The consequences, if you are an unborn child, are really bad,” he said. “And, if you’re a taxpayer, they’re really bad too because you are being coerced to give your money.”
Below is the “no abortion funding in the budget” letter signed by Gilligan and other pro-life group leaders that was sent to lawmakers:
On September 28, 2017, Governor Rauner signed into law House Bill 40, which authorizes the use of taxpayer funds for abortions through Medicaid and state employee health insurance. This new mandate is not eligible for reimbursement by the federal government, putting the entire cost on Illinois taxpayers.
House Bill 40 did not contain an appropriation; therefore, funding for elective abortions will come out of state Medicaid and health insurance funding.
No one knows how many more abortions there will be due to House Bill 40, but no matter the number, the principle is the same: our state tax dollars should not go to pay for abortion. You have the opportunity to ensure that no taxpayer money is used to end the life of any unborn child.
We are asking all members of the Illinois General Assembly to refuse to provide the means for House Bill 40 to accomplish its deadly consequences by including language in annual appropriations denying the use of tax dollars for elective abortions.
Due to our less-restrictive laws, in 2016 there was a 40 percent increase in the number of people coming to Illinois from out-of-state to undergo an abortion, forcing Illinois taxpayers not only to pay for abortions of Illinois citizens but of those from out-of-state. House Bill 40 will accelerate this trend.
Please work with us to protect taxpayers and unborn children.
Robert Gilligan, Executive Director Mary Kate Knorr, Executive Director
Catholic Conference of Illinois Ralph Rivera, Legislative Chairman
Illinois Right to Life Action
Dawn Behnke, President Bonnie Quirke, President
Illinois Federation For Right to Life Lake County Right to Life
Eric Scheidler, Executive Director
Pro-Life Action League