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Gov. Rauner Roundly Criticized For His Opposition To HB40

By aaroncynic in News on Apr 19, 2017 8:26PM

Governor Bruce Rauner outside the Director's Lawn at the Illinois State Fair in August 2016. Photo by Aaron Cynic
Pro-choice advocates and gubernatorial challengers criticized Governor Bruce Rauner Wednesday afternoon, accusing him of breaking a campaign promise this week when he pledged to veto an abortion rights bill.

“I’m getting really tired of this string of misrepresentations and lies that are coming out of the Rauner administration,” said Personal PAC President Terry Cosgrove in a press conference broadcast over Facebook Live. “And I have to conclude that Governor Rauner is Donald Trump on steroids, if this continues.”

Rauner vowed to veto HB40, a bill which would’ve scrapped Illinois’ “trigger law” which would make abortion illegal should Roe V. Wade be overturned along with providing coverage for Medicaid recipients and state employees. While Rauner has appeared to support a woman’s right to choose—he and his wife Diana, along with the Rauner Family Foundation have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to Planned Parenthood—the governor has been facing pressure from Republicans and other right-wing groups and conservatives over his stance.

A spokesperson for Rauner framed his opposition to the bill as an issue of taxpayer dollars:

“Governor Rauner is committed to protecting women's reproductive rights under current Illinois law. However, recognizing the sharp divisions of opinion of taxpayer funding of abortion, he does not support HB40."

Rauner’s critics however, don’t believe him. “Let’s be clear, this is not a tax issue,” said Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle. “We should not allow this bill to be sold that way. This is an issue of women’s rights, human rights, family rights.”

Capitol Fax reported Tuesday that Rauner took pro-choice positions on every question but one in the group’s election questionnaire for gubernatorial candidates. Cosgrove said that Rauner’s opposition to HB40 puts him on the “wrong side of history” and makes the governor a liar.

“This means, that then 2014 candidate Rauner lied to the voters, lied to friends, and lied to colleagues about his position on reproductive rights,” wrote Cosgrove in a statement.

Rauner’s gubernatorial challengers lined up to criticize him as well.

“Unfortunately, Bruce Rauner is more committed to playing politics than fighting for Illinois women and families,” wrote billionaire JB Pritzker in a blog post on Medium. “Rauner either lied to the voters about being pro-choice in 2014, or he has decided to capitulate to the right-wing Republicans in the legislature. Either way, Illinois is once again suffering a setback because of a failed promise by Bruce Rauner.”

Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar called Rauner a liar.

“We need leaders in government who won’t use women’s rights to score political points when it seems most convenient,” said Pawar in a statement given to Capitol Fax. “People are sick and tired of rich men like Bruce Rauner and Donald Trump telling women what they can and cannot do with their bodies. If we say we have family values we have to start valuing families.”