In September 2017, Bruce Rauner, then governor of Illinois, generated a firestorm when he signed a bill, HB 40, mandating taxpayer funding of abortion for low-income women through the state’s Medicaid program. He was the first governor to mandate taxpayer funding for elective abortions; in other states where elective abortions are funded through Medicaid, the policy came about either through a court order or an administrative ruling.
During his election campaign, Rauner had said he was “pro-choice” but also had promised not to change abortion policy. Pro-life constituents were justifiably outraged by his betrayal, and they believed that HB 40 would contribute to a rise the number of abortions paid for with taxpayer dollars. New data from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services show that those concerns were well founded.
A Freedom of Information Act request filed by NewsChannel 20 in Springfield, Ill., found that in the first six months of 2018, there was a sharp increase in the number of taxpayer-funded abortions in the state. In the first half of 2017, only 84 abortions were publicly funded, but in the first half of 2018 — after HB 40 had taken effect — 1,561 abortions were paid for by Illinois taxpayers. This is an increase of 1,758 percent. It appears that approximately 10 percent of all abortions performed in Illinois are paid for with taxpayer dollars.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael J. New