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Harmon clears way for governor to sign House Bill 40

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SPRINGFIELD – Senator Don Harmon (D-Oak Park) released the following statement today after withdrawing the hold he had placed on House Bill 40:

“The work of constituents and advocates who have urged the governor to sign this legislation appears to be having some effect, as the governor recently backed away from his promise to veto it. I believe Gov. Rauner understands that he has made a commitment to support women’s reproductive rights, and I look forward to him signing this bill as it passed the General Assembly.”

House Bill 40 protects the right of women to make decisions about their reproductive health by ensuring that abortion remains legal in Illinois even if Roe v. Wade is overturned.

The measure moves to the House now, which is expected to send it quickly to the governor’s desk.

UPDATED 12:00 pm - the House has sent HB40 to the governor.

steans 013117“I am heartened by recent reports that the governor has stepped back from his threat to veto House Bill 40,” Senator Heather Steans (Chicago) said. “This is his opportunity to stand on the right side of history and send a strong message to women that Illinois will remain a state where you can legally exercise your right to choose.”

Up until today, the Senate had placed a parliamentary hold on House Bill 40 to allow the governor time to reconsider his threat to veto this legislation.

“House Bill 40 will provide women with the right to choose regardless of their income level, employer or any changes at the federal level,” Steans said. “Illinois has been a safe-haven where women can legally exercise their right to choose in the Midwest without anti-choice barriers. This legislation takes a big step forward to ensure that freedom continues. I hope the governor will honor the commitment he made as a candidate to support such legislation.”

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State Sen. Linda Holmes, D-Aurora, released the following statement: “Throughout my career as a legislator, I have stood up for women, women’s health and a woman’s right to choose. With House Bill 40 on his desk, Governor Rauner can finally clarify his position on women’s reproductive rights. He should sign this legislation and protect a woman’s right to make her own healthcare decisions, regardless of her income or changes to federal law.”

State Sen. Terry Link issued the following statement today on news the governor has received legislation guaranteeing access to abortion in Illinois in the event the U.S. Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade.

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“A woman’s right to autonomy over her own medical choices has now been law since before many women of child-bearing age were even born,” said Link, D-Vernon Hills. “In today’s political climate, that right is under threat. I urge Governor Rauner to stick by his original commitment to protect a woman’s right to choose and sign House Bill 40.”

Senator Cristina Castro (Elgin) explained that House Bill 40 removes the "trigger" provision from a 1975 Illinois law that would reinstate a previous state policy banning abortion in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. Additionally, the legislation would allow abortion coverage for individuals on Medicaid or covered by State Employee Health Insurance plans.

castro 050417“This is an extremely personal decision that needs to be made between a woman and her health care provider,” Castro said. “Illinois needs to remain a safe place for women to legally exercise their right to make their own healthcare choices.”

Castro, a chief co-sponsor of the measure, stated that it is absolutely necessary to ensure Illinois women continue to have the right to choose to move forward with a pregnancy.

“Women and men fought, marched and lobbied to make abortions safe and legal,” Castro said. “Any attempt by the state and federal government to dissolve this lifesaving and fundamental right is overturning 40 years of progress for civil rights. I urge the governor to sign this important legislation into law and show the women of Illinois he supports safeguarding their right to make decisions concerning their own bodies. The time to act is now.”

murphy 032917Senator Laura Murphy (D-Des Plaines) issued the following statement:

“I hope that the governor will do the right thing and sign House Bill 40. This legislation ensures that women can make decisions about their health care regardless of their income, employer or if Roe v. Wade is overturned. Gov. Rauner’s signature would send a strong message to women in Illinois that reproductive decisions will remain in their hands.”