Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Thursday signed legislation that would provide state health insurance and Medicaid coverage for abortions.
The Democratically-controlled General Assembly approved the measure in May, but delayed sending it to the Republican governor until Monday, in part because he has changed his mind about support of the plan.
As a candidate in 2014, Rauner said he would support expanding coverage for abortions. But last April he said he opposed the idea and said the state should focus on improving the economy.
“I have always said, I believe a woman should have the right to make that choice herself and I do not believe that choice should be determined by income,” Rauner said in a statement. “I do not think it’s fair to deny poor women the choice that wealthy women have.”
Only three metro east state legislators voted in favor of the legislation: state Sen. James Clayborne, D-Belleville, state Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis, and state Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville.
State Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon, voted against the legislation, and did not appear to be happy with the governor’s action.
“Gov. Rauner signs HB40, abortions with our tax money assaulting unborn and pro-life voters who elected him,” McCarter wrote on Twitter. “Don’t bother running for re-election.”
The legislation also removes language in Illinois law that states a desire to criminalize abortion if a 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing the procedure is overturned. Democrats adopted that provision after President Donald Trump expressed his opposition to abortion.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
How metro-east legislators voted
- State Sen. James Clayborne, D-Belleville: Yes
- State Sen. Bill Haine, D-Alton: Did not vote
- State Sen. Kyle McCarter, R-Lebanon: No
- State Sen. Paul Schimpf, R-Waterloo: No
- State Rep. Dan Beiser, D-Alton: No
- State Rep. John Cavaletto, R-Salem: No
- State Rep. Jerry Costello II, D-Smithton: No
- State Rep. LaToya Greenwood, D-East St. Louis: Yes
- State Rep. Jay Hoffman, D-Swansea: No
- State Rep. Charlie Meier, R-Okawville: No
- State Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville: Yes