The following local legislators joined five others in a suit by numerous Pro-Life groups and the Catholic Diocese of Springfield to delay the date state government starts spending money for elective abortions for women on Medicaid and state employees:
- Rep. Barb Wheeler
- Rep. Steve Reick
- Sen. Dan McConchie
[“Elective abortions” as used in the suit means abortions performed for reasons other than
- to preserve the life of the mother or
- in cases where the pregnancy results from an act of rape or incest.]
The Illinois Department of Health Care and Human Services is believed to be putting the abortion program in action on January 1, 2018.
The plaintiffs point out that the bill passed in September, so “Pursuant to the clear terms of the Illinois Constitution and Effective Date of Laws Act, HB 40 cannot be effective until June 1, 2018.”
In addition is language in the Effective Date of Laws Act;
“A bill passed after May 31 of a calendar year shall become effective on June 1 of the next calendar year unless the General Assembly by a vote of three-fifths of the members elected to each house provides for an earlier effective date in the terms of the bill . . . .”
The suit also argues that no appropriation has been made to pay “the tens of millions of dollars for the elective abortions and other procedures mandated or provided for by House Bill 40. ”
An analysis of abortion statistics is included in the suit:
- approximately 40,000 abortions in Illinois per year
- approximately 75% of pregnant women obtaining abortions have an income below 200% of Federal Poverty Level
- the State of Illinois provides that pregnant women with incomes up to 213% of Federal Poverty Level are presumptively eligible for Medicaid, through the state’s “Moms & Babies” program
- under HB 40, at least 20,000 to 30,000 or more of the state’s annual 40,000 abortions would become eligible for and be paid for by Medicaid
- average cost per abortion over the past five years is between $750 and $1,000
Hence, the tens of millions of dollars estimated costs per year predicted in the suit.
State Rep. Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society is the lead attorney in the suit. He is joined by Dawn Behnke of LaBarre, Young & Behnke and Bradley E. Huff of Graham & Graham, Ltd.