Demmer becomes latest GOP member to criticize Rauner over abortion legislation
Count Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) among the growing list of GOP legislators openly expressing their chagrin over Gov. Bruce Rauner's signing of controversial abortion expansion legislation.
“I am disappointed in Gov. Rauner’s decision to sign HB40 into law, which will for first time provide taxpayer-funded abortions in Illinois," Demmer told the Illinois Valley Times.
Illinoisans on Medicaid and those working for the state may now receive free abortions for any reason until the last day of their pregnancy. Before Rauner's signature, Medicaid recipients were eligible for abortions only in cases of rape, incest, and when the health and life of the mother was at risk.
“In April, I voted not to pass HB40 and my opposition to the bill continues today,” Demmer said.
During his 2014 campaign, Rauner vowed that he would "have no social agenda" if elected but has also argued that he has always supported abortion rights.
Rauner’s decision makes him the country’s first governor to sign off on taxpayer funding of abortions. Illinois Right to Life estimates the new legislation will lead to 12,000 additional abortions each year and cost taxpayers more than $21 million.
Demmer joins fellow representatives Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) and Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) in publicly criticizing Rauner’s decision, with Ives going so far as to insist she will no longer be supporting his 2018 re-election efforts and will skip over his name on the ballot.
“All the latest polls tell you that Republicans have universally rejected the idea of taxpayer-funded abortions,” Ives told the DuPage Policy Journal. “This is a litmus test, and he has clearly failed it. From this point forward, we will be trying to find another nominee to run against him or convincing him not to run.”
A recent national Marist College/ Knight of Columbus Poll found that nearly 60 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer-funded abortions, which follows similar results in four previous polls.