The Tribune’s editorial “Abortion funding, truthfulness and a question: Can Rauner recover?” is troubling from a number of perspectives, not the least of which is its assertion that there has been some sort of decades-long “compact” or “understanding” in Illinois that has kept abortion opponents from trying “to regulate the procedure out of existence” in exchange for the state refusing to cover abortion under Medicaid — as it does every other kind of health care. This is false.
The ACLU of Illinois has spent decades filing lawsuits to strike unconstitutional state restrictions on abortion and fighting efforts to pass new ones in Springfield. But for 45 years of ACLU litigation, and a number of hard-fought victories before the General Assembly, access to abortion in Illinois would look much like it does in Texas and Missouri. Our lawsuits, court injunctions and consent decrees keep the state’s abortion opponents in Springfield from legislating abortion out of existence. Contrary to the Tribune editorial, every year, anti-abortion legislators attempt to pass new restrictions that would upend safe, legal abortion in our state. In the last few years alone, they have attempted to ban one of the safest methods of abortion, compel abortion providers to lie to patients, and impose a TRAP — Targeted Regulation of Abortion Providers — law like the one from Texas that the U.S. Supreme Court invalidated in 2016.
House Bill 40 marked a critical victory for women’s health and equality. For the women and families of Illinois, House Bill 40 is not about politics; it is about advancing health, economic security and dignity. We applaud Gov. Bruce Rauner for putting politics aside and doing what is right for the people of our state.