A bloc of eight anti-abortion lawmakers joined with 11 organizations to file suit against the state yesterday, in an effort to stop the Illinois from implementing the recently-passed HB40, which provides reproductive and abortion care for Medicaid recipients. The new law’s effective date is currently Jan. 1.
Legislators filing the suit are all Republicans: Reps. Barbara Wheeler, Mark Batinick, Steve Reick, and Keith Wheeler. Senators, also Republican, include: Dale Fowler, Kyle McCarter, Dan McConchie, and Paul Schimpf. They are represented in court by Republican Rep. Peter Breen.
Anti-abortion organizations in the suit include: Pro-Life Action League, Springfield Right to Life, Clinton County Citizens For Life, Henry County Right to Life, Knox County Right to Life, NFP, Lake County Right to Life Committee, Morgan County Right to Life, Pro-Life Action League, Illinois Right to Life Action, and Illinois Federation for Right to Life.
In a Thursday release, the group said: “The State of Illinois is unique in having a tradition of allowing taxpayer lawsuits, which are brought by private individuals to protect the public treasury. Illinois law requires such a suit to be brought by a petition for leave to file a complaint… state government spending on abortions could range anywhere from $15 million to $30 million.”
State Sen. Heather Steans (D-Chicago) shot back with a release in response: “This lawsuit is a blatant attempt to prevent poor women and state employees from exercising their legal right to choose. I firmly believe that all women should have the opportunity to make their own reproductive decisions regardless of their income level or employer.”
The plaintiffs say the petition in this case has been set for hearing before Associate Judge Brian T. Otwell, on Thursday, December 7, at 10:30 a.m., at the Sangamon County Courthouse.