McConchie dismayed by Rauner's change of heart on abortion funding measure
Sen. Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods) says he's lost some of his belief in Gov. Bruce Rauner.
"Words cannot express my profound disappointment of the governor’s decision to sign House Bill 40, which dramatically expands taxpayer funded abortions across the state," McConchie said in a statement shortly after Rauner signed the measure Sept. 28. "Taxpayers should not be forced to fund something as controversial and culturally divisive as abortions. Likewise, there is no good reason for taxpayers to be on the hook for someone else’s personal decision."
Rauner, who is running for re-election next year, said in April that he intended to veto the legislation if it came to him. On Sept. 27, he said decided to sign after all.
"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," Rauner said the day he signed the bill.
With his signature, Rauner became the nation's first governor to initiate taxpayer-funded abortions.
The legislation, which mandates state health insurance and Medicaid to cover abortions, passed the Democratic controlled General Assembly this spring.
Rauner's decision appears as a reversal of his campaign promises in 2014 that his time as governor would include "no social agenda," but he argued at his news conference that his signature does not mark a reversal because he has always supported abortion rights.
"I have not and never will change my views," Rauner said. "I personally believe that a woman should have, must have, the right to decide what goes on in her own body – that a woman should have the right to decide her health care."
McConchie argued that Rauner went back on his word.
“There was a public commitment made by the governor to veto this bill," McConchie said. "His flip-flopping on this issue raises serious questions on whether the governor’s word can be trusted on other matters.”
The measure also allows Illinois to continue to provide abortion coverage if the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn its landmark 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade, which made abortion legal nationwide.
Observers have pointed out that Rauner could have used the amendatory veto powers of his office to leave the provision regarding the Supreme Court intact while removing the funding portion. Doing so would have sent HB40 back to the General Assembly for a vote of whether to accept the changes.
Asked why he didn't use his amendatory veto powers, Rauner said he saw no support for that strategy.