Among the group of Illinois Republicans fighting back against the recent legislation that funds abortions through taxpayer money is local State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer.
On Friday, Davidsmeyer and colleagues of his party filed the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act” in an attempt to repeal House Bill 40 and disallow taxpayer-paid elective abortion in Illinois.
Davidsmeyer explains what House Bill 40 did for Illinois, and why he and his colleagues are now filing this bill.
“House Bill 40 that was recently signed into law made us the first state in the nation that has a law that says the state will pay for abortions. The reality, whether you’re pro-life or pro-choice, is that we all know the state of Illinois is broke. Over seventy percent of the citizens of the state of Illinois have said that taxpayers should not be funding abortion, the state should not be paying for it. So that’s what this bill does; it reverses (a portion of House Bill 40) and takes it back to what we were about a month ago,” says Davidsmeyer.
The Jacksonville-based Representative says he objects to taxpayer-funded abortions not just morally, but also financially.
“It’s a huge change morally for myself being pro-life, but it’s also a huge change for the state of Illinois saying we can’t afford to keep making new promises. We’ve got 15, almost $16 billion in unpaid bills, we can’t afford to say, ‘oh it’s only another $30 million to $60 million.’ The state just simply can’t afford it. We can’t afford it morally, we can’t afford it financially, so we are repealing the taxpayer funding of abortion,” Davidsmeyer explains.
According to Davidsmeyer, the original number coming from Governor Bruce Rauner’s office estimated that Illinois could spend as much as $60 million dollars covering elective abortions. He also says he’s been presented with estimates closer to $30 million dollars.
Davidsmeyer says it’s unclear how political pressure, particularly the from pro-choice Democratic side of the aisle, might influence votes. Despite this, Davidsmeyer hopes everyone in Springfield understands the financial situation Illinois is currently in.
“The (Democratic) side seems to be supported by some pretty heavily-funded pro-choice groups, so you don’t know if the political pressure will come through. But I think everybody should understand the reality that the state of Illinois is in financially. If they don’t understand the moral side, they should understand the financial side that we simply cannot afford it. And if we’re spending an extra $30 million to $60 million on this, then we’re going to have to cut it from somewhere else. So I want them to tell me where they’re going to cut these funds from,” says Davidsmeyer.
In terms of when any action might be taken regarding the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” Davidsmeyer says he hopes it can be heard and moved forward during a scheduled veto session next week.