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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) signed a bill on Thursday allowing Medicaid to cover abortions across the state. While this sweeping move has won the praise of abortion rights activists, it hasn’t made him the most welcome man in the Republican Party.
Under the law, women eligible for Medicaid can now receive insurance coverage while undergoing an abortion, expanding taxpayer-subsidized abortion coverage across Illinois, which previously only made exceptions for incest, rape, and pregnancy complications. The law also refutes that a human emerges in conception and makes sure abortion would not be banned in Illinois if Roe v. Wade is overturned in the future.
Floor leader and state Rep. Peter Breen was quick to call the signing “an absolute betrayal.”
“It was a hard-left, liberal stance,” Breen said, the New York Times reports. Breen has since vowed to rescind any future support for Rauner.
The signing didn’t seem to sit well with Rauner, either. One reporter said the governor appeared “almost morose” during the law’s announcement on Thursday, with the Times describing him as speaking “in plodding tones.” Meanwhile, representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union and the Chicago Abortion Fund stood behind him appearing visibly happy, painting an awkward picture between the somber governor and the excited activists.
“The passions, the emotions, the sentiments on both sides of these issues are very powerful,” Rauner said, the Times reports.
According to the Chicago Tribune, Rauner ultimately chose to sign the bill because he felt he had to “be consistent with my values,” even though he spoke out against the bill in the past.
“I also believe that no woman should be forced to make a different decision than another woman would make purely based on her income,” Rauner said. “I believe that a woman living with limited financial means should not be put in the position where she has to choose something different than a woman of higher income would be able to choose.”
Ana Valens is a reporter specializing in online queer communities, marginalized identities, and adult content creation. She is Daily Dot's Trans/Sex columnist. Her work has appeared at Vice, Vox, Truthout, Bitch Media, Kill Screen, Rolling Stone, and the Toast. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and spends her free time developing queer adult games.