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Pro-Life Group Sues Illinois Over Bill Requiring Public Funds For Abortions

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Grace Carr Reporter

A pro-life organization filed a lawsuit Thursday against the state of Illinois, saying that the law requiring taxpayer dollars to fund elective abortions is unconstitutional and should be repealed.

The Thomas More Society (TMS) filed the taxpayer lawsuit against Illinois officials in an attempt to counteract a recently passed state’s law — House Bill 40 — that requires taxpayers to fund abortions. Taxpayer lawsuits are brought by private individuals in order to protect the public treasury.

TMS, along with the Springfield Catholic Diocese, filed the suit with the Sangamon County Circuit Court on behalf of Illinois taxpayers.

House Bill 40 mandates Illinois residents pay for abortions for those on Medicaid and state employee health insurance. There is no limit on the number of abortions that Medicaid will cover or the number of dollars that can be spent on abortions under the bill.

“The people of Illinois totally reject taxpayer-funded abortions,” Thomas More Society Special Counsel Peter Breen said in a Thursday press release obtained in an email. “Under HB 40, Illinoisans will be forced to pay for 20,000 to 30,000 abortions per year with their tax dollars.” The Illinois state budget doesn’t include money to pay for these abortions, he added.

“Regardless of your feelings about abortion, it is incredibly fiscally irresponsible to enact a law designed to spend millions of dollars that Illinois does not have,” Breen said. “The state legislative process has steps that must be correctly followed in order to prevent budget-busting laws like this from being ramrodded through. It is part of our civic process of checks and balances.” The Department of Healthcare and Family Services estimates the annual taxpayer cost of abortions under House Bill 40 is roughly $1.8 million.

The battle over House Bill 40 comes after Gov. Bruce Rauner, a Republican, signed the measure into law, saying “I believe that a woman living with limited financial means should not be put in the position where she has to choose something different than a woman of higher income would be able to choose,” according to the Hill.

Associate Judge Brian T. Otwell will hear the case on Dec. seventh. 

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