SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – A new law taking effect Jan. 1 will force Illinois taxpayers to foot the bill for some 20,000 to 30,000 abortions per year.
Pro-life groups and legislators Thursday pleaded with Sangamon County Associate Judge Jennifer Ascher to halt that law with a temporary restraining order. But she refused.
The new law – HB 40 – will make free abortions available to Medicaid recipients in the state. They can get them through all nine months of pregnancy and for any reason they choose.
Illinois is so far in debt it's often seen as the most financially troubled state.
That led state Rep. Peter Breen, a special counsel for the pro-life Thomas More Society, to say, "Even apart from the sincere moral objections that many folks have to paying for abortions, there is no money in the Illinois state budget to pay for them."
He estimates the abortions could cost the state $15 million to $30 million a year.
The Thomas More Society has already begun the process of appealing Judge Ascher's decision.
The group argued HB 40 not only forces taxpayers to fund abortions, but that it was rushed into law in an unconstitutional manner.
"We respectfully disagree with the court's ruling and will seek an immediate appeal," Breen stated outside the courtroom. "The Illinois Constitution was clearly violated here."