Bruce Rauner’s Broken Promise

Bruce Rauner should be ashamed of himself. He told voters in 2014 that he was “pro-choice” and that he would protect women’s access to healthcare, but last week he proved he didn’t tell voters the truth when he said he would veto House Bill 40.

HB 40 would provide safe access to healthcare for women on state employee health insurance and Medicaid, and it would also remove a “trigger provision” from state law that would make abortions illegal in Illinois if Roe v. Wade is ever overturned.

Let me explain. Anti-choice laws in Illinois that were on the books were never removed. Instead, they were simply invalidated by the Supreme Court’s ruling in the famous Roe v. Wade case upholding privacy rights and a woman’s right to choose. Due to a trigger provision inserted into Illinois law in 1975, if federal laws protecting a woman’s right to choose are ever overturned by a conservative Supreme Court, our state anti-choice laws would make abortion illegal in Illinois.

With Donald Trump in the White House and the unfortunate reality that a string of anti-choice Supreme Court judges could continue to be nominated, the likelihood of Roe v. Wade getting overturned is becoming more real every day.

HB 40 also repeals the harmful discriminatory Illinois law that prevents low-income women from access to healthcare due to the source of their health insurance. And, HB 40 repeals the outrageous Illinois law that denies insurance coverage for female state employees while male state employees have access to both vasectomies and Viagra in their state and Medicaid health insurance plans. That’s simply not fair.

This is a time when a true “pro-choice” Governor would provide leadership to protect the women of Illinois.

Unfortunately, Bruce Rauner is more committed to playing politics than fighting for Illinois women and families. Rauner either lied to the voters about being pro-choice in 2014, or he has decided to capitulate to the right-wing Republicans in the legislature. Either way, Illinois is once again suffering a setback because of a failed promise by Bruce Rauner.

This is not just about access to healthcare, this is about a woman’s right to make her own decisions about her body. That’s not a decision that Donald Trump or Bruce Rauner or any other politician should make. It’s a decision that should be left to a woman, her family, her faith, and her doctor.

Governor Rauner’s decision is deeply distressing to me and to women across this state. I have been fighting to protect women’s healthcare and reproductive rights for decades. HB 40 protects and respects women and their families, and it affirms that a majority of our state supports choice.

As your governor, I will always fight for Illinois women and families, and I’ll stand up against Donald Trump’s effort to limit women’s healthcare. Unlike Bruce Rauner, I’ll champion women’s health and sign HB 40.