WASHINGTON DC – Wednesday, all seven Republican members of Illinois' U.S. House delegation called on Illinois' GOP governor to veto a bill now on his desk expanding taxpayer funding of abortions – for any reason.
Congressman Peter Roskam (IL-06) led the delegation's letter, signed by GOP members, John Shimkus (IL-15), Randy Hultgren (IL-14), Adam Kinzinger (IL-16), Rodney Davis (IL-13), Mike Bost (IL-12), and Darin LaHood (IL-18).
“This bill is dangerous.” Roskam said in a statement issued with the letter. “It forces taxpayers to be complicit in the act of abortion even if they believe abortion to be morally reprehensible.
"Lawmakers in Springfield should be focused on addressing Illinois’ current financial crisis and not on partisan politics that serve only to place a greater burden on Illinois taxpayers," Roskam said. "I am asking the Governor keep his commitment to protect taxpayers as well as the most vulnerable members of our community.”
While acknowledging the "extreme" political pressure Governor Rauner must be facing, the letter from the Republican delegation argues House Bill 40 would require taxpayers to pay for abortions through all full nine months of pregnancy for those covered by Medicaid and state employee health insurance.
"This includes painful late-term abortions, even past the point at which some children could survive outside the womb if given appropriate care," the letter says. "Under HB 40, there is no cap on the number of abortions that could be covered under Medicaid and no cap on the amount of taxpayer dollars spent on these procedures."
Current estimates of cost to the state range from $1.8 million to $21 million.
"While Illinois faces a financial crisis, it is unwise to place such a burden on the taxpayer," they write.
Then the letter turns to emphasize a longtime public policy set into action by Roskam's predecessor, the late Congressman Henry Hyde.
"Illinois state policy has been consistent with federal protections such as the Hyde Amendment which prohibits federal funding for abortion. The Hyde Amendment saves lives – at least 2 million people are alive today thanks to 40 years of Hyde Amendment protections," the letter says.
But it all boils down to requiring taxpayers to participate in funding abortions.
The letter concludes, "While the political pressure may feel extreme, we respectfully ask you to focus on the underlying issue and not waiver on your commitment to protect taxpayers as well as the most vulnerable members of our community."
The governor has 60 days to decide what he will do with the measure.
I believe even Republican James Marter who is Pro-life wants Rauner to veto HB 40.
Keep your Promise, and Veto HB 40. State statutes are subservient to the Bill of Rights in the Illinois constitution. HB 40 will unlawfully violate Article 1, Section 3. Religious Freedom and our right of conscience. The general assembly cannot lawfully ignore our constitutionally protected religious liberties. The Bible teaches us true Christians that abortion is a sin. HB 40 would force true Christians to sin by forcing us to help finance the killing of unborn babies.
The Bible says, “Therefore to him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin” (James 4:17)
While sin is a personal act, we true Christians have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:
• by participating directly and voluntarily in them
• by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them
• by not disclosing or not hindering
• by protecting wrong doers
Our declaration of Religious freedom (Art 1, Sec. 3) enshrined in the Illinois constitution’s Bill of Rights is meant to handcuff government’s power so that our God-given right to the FREE exercise of religion is preserved, protected, and respected.
It is absurd to think HB 40 is superior to constitutional law, no honest judge would disagree. Please keep your promise Governor, uphold the state constitution, and VETO HB 40.
From the Illinois Constitution’s Bill of Rights: Article 1, Section 3. Religious Freedom
“The free exercise and enjoyment of religious profession and worship, without discrimination, shall forever be guaranteed, and no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or capacity, on account of his religious opinions; but the liberty of conscience hereby secured shall not be construed to dispense with oaths or affirmations, excuse acts of licentiousness, or justify practices inconsistent with the peace or safety of the State. No person shall be required to attend or support any ministry or place of worship against his consent, nor shall any preference be given by law to any religious denomination or mode of worship.” (Source: Illinois Constitution)
What happened last night sure got them moving. But what happens AFTER next March and the next three years after that are as important as anything they say or do now.