Baptist Leaders Express Disappointment in Illinois Governor’s Reversal On Abortion

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner announces that he has signed a bill that expands abortion coverage for women on Medicaid and state insurance at a news conference in Chicago on Sept. 28, 2017. (Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune)
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner announces that he has signed a bill that expands abortion coverage for women on Medicaid and state insurance at a news conference in Chicago on Sept. 28, 2017. (Terrence Antonio James / Chicago Tribune)

Southern Baptist leaders reacted with deep disappointment to Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s change of mind in support of groundbreaking abortion-funding legislation.

Rauner, a Republican, signed into law Sept. 28 a bill that requires taxpayers to fund abortions for low-income women through the state’s Medicaid program, even though he had said in April he opposed it. The new law also provides abortion funding for women covered by state employee insurance.

In signing the legislation, Rauner also apparently established a precedent in state funding of abortion. Illinois becomes the first state in which the legislature and governor have acted to approve Medicaid funds for abortion, according to pro-life researcher Michael J. New. Previously, New reported, Medicaid funds for abortion were legal in 15 states — 11 by judicial decision and four by health department action.

Nate Adams, executive director of the Illinois Baptist State Association, said he joined Illinois Baptists and others in the state “in expressing great disappointment” with Rauner’s action.

“I’m sure Baptists in Illinois will be letting Governor Rauner know how deeply distressing his action is to people who revere God-given life,” Adams said in a written statement for Baptist Press.

“Taxpayers’ money should not be used to fund abortions in any circumstance,” Adams said. “In signing this bill, Governor Rauner has abandoned his earlier promises to pro-life representatives that he would veto the bill, thereby protecting the most defenseless in our culture and preventing state funding [of abortions].”

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SOURCE: Tom Strode 
Baptist Press