Illinois House passes measure to protect, expand abortion access

The bill also allows state employees to use health insurance for abortions and for the use of Medicaid funds to cover abortion procedures. Hundreds descended on the capitol during the morning and afternoon for a Women's March which ended up coinciding with the bill going to the floor.

A Democratic lawmaker pushing legislation to remove prohibitions on publicly funded abortions in IL hopes to call it for a vote as thousands of women converge on the capital to lobby for a "progressive agenda".

Abortion rights advocates in IL responded to concerns about women's rights with the confirmation of Neil Gorsuch to the Supreme Court.

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The bill has made headlines in recent weeks as Republican Governor Bruce Rauner has said he planned to veto the bill if it passes, because he does not support expanding Medicaid expenses for abortion - a position in direct contradiction with what he promised during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign.

Women from Chicago and across IL marched at the state capitol in Springfield, Ill., Tuesday, urging lawmakers to pass a budget and legislation to help women and families. State Representative Sara Feigenholtz said, "The intent.is to protect women from a president who has been very, very clear about his desire to overturn Roe v Wade and make abortion illegal in some states". "Should it come from cancer screenings?" "Instead of working to solve our state's catastrophic challenges, Madigan Democrats just passed a radical bill for taxpayer funded abortions, at a cost of $60 million, while we don't have a budget", said Party National Committeewoman Demetra Demonte in a statement emailed to Chicagoist. Last week, Rauner said he would veto the measure, citing "sharp divisions of opinion of taxpayer funding of abortion". They include the long-stalled ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.

Aside from Cardinal Cupich, pro-life groups also applauded Gov. Rauner's promise to veto the abortion bill.

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