LAKEVIEW — A bill that supporters say would keep abortion legal in Illinois should it be threatened federally — but that critics say broadens the use of taxpayer money to pay for them — was approved by the General Assembly Wednesday and is headed for Gov. Bruce Rauner's desk.
The Republican governor has vowed to veto the measure. The Illinois Senate approved the measure 33-22. The vote divided along party lines, with all of the opposing votes coming from Republicans.
The bill, authored by Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D-Lakeview) was approved by the Illinois House in April on a 62-55 vote, with five Democrats voting no.
Rauner's office said he opposes the bill — even though he said he would support such legislation during the 2015 campaign.
"Gov. Rauner is committed to protecting women's reproductive rights under current Illinois law," spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis said in April. "However, recognizing the sharp divisions of opinion of taxpayer funding of abortion, he does not support" the bill.
That led Feigenholtz to deride the governor as a "flip-flopper" who lied about supporting abortion rights to win votes during the campaign.
The bill would override parts of a 1975 law that would ban abortions in Illinois should the U.S. Supreme Court ever overturn the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, which legalized abortion. President Donald Trump vowed to appoint pro-life Supreme Court justices during the campaign.
If Roe v. Wade is overturned without any changes to state law, abortions would be banned in Illinois even in the case of rape or incest, while abortions could be performed if the mother's life were in danger.
The bill would also allow state medical aid and grants to nonprofits to pay for abortions, miscarriages and premature births.
Cardinal Blase Cupich urged the General Assembly to reject the measure.
"Taxpayers should not be forced to fund the taking of human life," Cupich wrote in February. "In fact, tax money should be used to fund prenatal services for the poor and child care for working mothers, as well as expand health-care options for those in need."