Batinick blasts abortion-protection measure
State Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) recently voted against a bill that its sponsors claim will preserve a woman's right to abortion in the event Roe v. Wade is overturned but he argues is really an effort to legalize taxpayer-funded abortions.
HB40, which was passed by the Human Services Committee, would remove the so-called “trigger language” in Illinois law that would have made abortion illegal following a similar federal move.
“I believe the bill was proposed because the sponsor supports taxpayer funding of abortion,” Batinick told the Sangamon Sun. “I do not, and I will not, support the bill."
Supporters tout the bill as critical legislation because of developments at the federal level, including the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court justice.
The bill, which would also provide state-funded abortion coverage for women on Medicaid and those in the State Employee Health Insurance program, still needs to pass a full House vote before being moved on to the Senate and ultimately the desk of Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Batinick said the House vote is up in the air.
“I believe it is very close on whether or not it will pass,” he said. “It is obviously a highly contentious bill. Because of that contention, I don't think the bill will even be called until the very end of session.”
Batinick is also uncertain about what he can expect from Rauner if the bill reaches the Republican governor’s desk. Rauner has long insisted he has "no social agenda" and plans to largely steer clear of such issues.
The bill was introduced by state Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Chicago), who said it is meant to ensure women have access to reproductive and abortion services regardless of federal action.
According to the Illinois General Assembly webpage, the bill has gained the support of
state Reps. Carol Ammons (D-Champaign), Barbara Flynn Currie (D-Chicago), Juliana Stratton (D-Chicago), Carol Sente (D-Vernon Hills), Ann Williams (D-Chicago), Elizabeth Hernandez (D-Cicero), Laura Fine (D-Glenview), Silvana Tabares (D-Chicago), Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston), Theresa Mah (D-Chicago), Camille Lilly (D-Oak Park), Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago) and Cynthia Soto (D-Chicago).
Joining Batinick in opposition to the bill is Illinois Right To Life, a group that argues that the legislation forces taxpayers to pay for abortions at a time when most Americans are clearly opposed to state-funded abortions.
“It’s extreme and out of touch with the state,” Regina D’Amico, a spokesperson for the group, said.
D’Amico said a recent Marist poll found 61 percent of Americans are against the idea of using tax dollars to fund abortions in the United States, and 83 percent oppose government funding for abortions outside of the country.
Right to Life officials have also expressed concern over the costs associated with the bill.
“The bill would surely increase state debt at time when the state can least afford it,” D’Amico said. “Taxpayers need relief, not more burden.”