Medicaid Will Now Cover Abortion for Low-Income Women in Illinois. Take That, Hyde!

Something happened yesterday. Something that may seem like a fairy tale in the current political moment. A Republican governor signed a bill to lift bans on insurance coverage for abortion for low-income women enrolled in Medicaid. The bill would also protect the right to abortion in Illinois — even if the unthinkable happens and Roe v. Wade is overturned.

In signing HB 40, Gov. Bruce Rauner made history: Illinois is the first state in decades to lift its restriction on Medicaid coverage of abortion. That this incredible leap forward for the movement to lift abortion coverage bans happened in Illinois is poetic. After all, it was Illinois Rep. Henry Hyde who, 41 years ago tomorrow, first passed the Hyde Amendment, banning Medicaid from covering abortion and launching four decades of attacks on women’s health and decision-making.

The stunning victory for reproductive justice comes on the heels of months of campaigning by local groups to persuade the governor to sign the bill. Because of this new law, women enrolled in Illinois Medicaid will no longer be barred from using their coverage for abortion. Put simply: The amount of money in your bank account will no longer determine whether you can get an abortion if you need one.

House Bill 40 also removes provisions from Illinois law that deny abortion coverage to some state employees. This bill backs up our state’s values by ending political interference with insurance coverage for abortion and ensuring that a woman isn’t treated differently just because of her income or where she gets her insurance. It is simply common sense: When health programs for women with low incomes cover birth control and abortion — not just childbirth — it’s good for them and it’s good for society as a whole.

Illinois Rep. Henry Hyde’s shameful legacy of banning insurance coverage for abortion has left a trail of devastation in its wake. Research shows that restricting Medicaid coverage of abortion forces one in four poor women seeking abortion to carry an unwanted pregnancy to term. And a woman who wants to get an abortion but is denied one is more likely to fall into poverty than a woman who can get the abortion she seeks. For a low-income woman in Illinois, forced to make an impossible decision between paying for food or rent or paying for an abortion, this is about health, economic security, and being able to live with dignity.

This victory is about more than Illinois: It’s also a powerful message to those across the country who are resisting and persisting. We can make a difference. We can pass laws that support and respect women. We can persuade lawmakers to do the right thing.

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Liberals suck

How low and pathetic can the slutty women at the ACLU get? They are celebrating the murder of innocent babies in the womb. You liberals are pathetic cowards and of course we REAL American patriots know that liberalism is a mental disorder.

Thank me very much!!!

Anonymous

Ba ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha y

Anonymous

People like you don’t understand anything about being liberal and all about parroting memes like your mental disorder diatribe above. You probably think liberals want to take away all the guns too. Or stop people from saying “Merry Christmas.” Educate yourself. Really.

Anonymous

There no such thing as "babies in the womb". There is no baby until it takes its first breath. Until then it is a foetus. Your lack of knowledge is exceeded only by your egregious attempt to foist your beliefs on others.

Anonymous

Then I guess it is a good thing mental health gets completely disregarded in the for profit healthcare industry we have. There's not much you can do except balk and insult.

Anonymous

We at one time believed all men and women were created by God with equal human rights, but we threw that out and embraced a religion of child sacrifice.

JS McMillan

The "We" in your statement is inclusive to a portion of the population. There are other portions of this nation which believe in rights bestowed upon humanity by other forces or by the consensus of ethical conduct and expectations deserving of humanity. Moreover, the Abrahamic deity did not support the idea of human rights as so blatantly illustrated by its actions (i.e. Sodom and Gomorrah, the great flood, etc.).

Anonymous

A fetus is not a person until separated from its mother and lives so that a birth certificate can be issued. Then you have a person otherwise a stillborn.

nathandwyer

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Anonymous

Reproductive health care, including abortion, is a human right, and it is great that Rauner decided to uphold his campaign promise to protect women's choice. Too bad that in the interim he also promised the right wing that he would bow to their wishes. That's his problem, along with the budget woes he created.

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