A Republican Just Did Something Good for Abortion Rights

“I do not think it’s fair to deny poor women the choice that wealthy women have.”

Brian Cassella/ZUMA

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Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner announced on Thursday that he will sign legislation to remove a ban on abortion coverage for women enrolled in Medicaid and in state employee health insurance.

The bill, HB 40, will also remove a state “trigger” law that would automatically make abortion illegal if Roe v. Wade were to be overturned. Illinois State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz introduced the bill earlier this year to the Democratic-majority legislature in an effort to protect women’s rights under President Trump. Rauner, who is up for re-election in 2018, said earlier this year that he would veto the controversial measure and try to work on a Republican-friendly compromise. Having failed to reach one, Rauner said he feels obligated to sign the measure.

“I believe that a woman living with limited financial means should not be put in the position where she has to choose something different than a woman of higher income would be able to choose,” Rauner said at a press conference on Thursday. “I do not think it’s fair to deny poor women the choice that wealthy women have.”

The move is particularly symbolic for Illinois, which will be the first state in decades to lift restrictions on Medicaid coverage for abortion. Forty-one years ago, Illinois Rep. Henry Hyde pushed through a federal ban on Medicaid coverage for abortion. Now, Illinois will become one of only a handful of states to broaden access to abortion coverage. 

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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