The Latest: Illinois governor explains signing abortion bill

September 28, 2017 GMT

CHICAGO (AP) — The Latest on Gov. Bruce Rauner’s signing of expanded abortion coverage (all times local):

4:45 p.m.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner says he understands the moral objections to abortion but signed into law expanded coverage for them because he believes all women should have the same health care options.

Rauner signed the measure Thursday. It expands state health insurance coverage and Medicaid for low-income women to abortions.

The first-term governor said in April he would veto the plan. But he says his decision Thursday is not new. He campaigned in 2014 on support for abortion-coverage expansion and he has generally been in favor of abortion rights.

Signing the law upset conservatives who are already angry that the Democratic-controlled Legislature adopted an income-tax increase last summer in approving a budget over Rauner’s vetoes.

The legislation also removes language from state law that critics say would outlaw abortion in Illinois if the 1973 Roe v. Wade U.S. Supreme Court opinion is overturned. President Donald Trump has vowed to appoint anti-abortion high court justices.


4:15 p.m.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that would provide state health insurance and Medicaid coverage for abortions.

The Republican announced his intentions at a news conference on Thursday and then signed the measure privately afterward.

The General Assembly controlled by Democrats approved the measure in May but delayed sending it to Rauner until Monday, in part because he has changed his mind about support of the plan.

As a candidate in 2014, Rauner said he would support expanding coverage for abortions. But last April he said he opposed the idea and said the state should focus on improving the economy.

The legislation also removes language in Illinois law that states a desire to criminalize abortion if a 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing the procedure is overturned. Democrats adopted that provision after President Donald Trump expressed his opposition to abortion.