Rep. Meier Co-Sponsors ‘No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act’

State Representative Charlie Meier (R-Okawville) co-sponsored the “No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act,” to prohibit units of government in Illinois from using taxpayer funds for elective abortions, reversing key provisions of the recently enacted House Bill 40.

“I’m opposed to taxpayer funding of abortions and I support the right to life,” said Rep, Meier. “It is estimated that Illinois taxpayers could end up paying 75% of the state’s 40,000 annual elective abortions. The state can’t even pay its current bills, we should not spend $30 million in tax dollars on 30,000 abortions annually.”

The No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act is modeled after the federal Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding for abortions, other than for abortions sought in connection with pregnancies that result from rape or incest, or that threaten the life of the mother. Abortions under these circumstances constitute roughly 1% of all abortions. Federal law already requires states to provide Medicaid abortions under these three conditions, and the proposed Act recognizes those federal provisions. Furthermore, while the federal government typically matches a state’s Medicaid expenses, it will not do so for elective abortions.

Lawmakers sponsoring the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act are relying on data from the Guttmacher Institute, the former research arm of Planned Parenthood, about income levels of those seeking abortions and payment data from other states that provide elective abortion funding. Guttmacher indicates that 75% of women seeking abortions are below 200% Federal Poverty Level, and that, in states with elective abortion, over 50% of all abortions are paid for by Medicaid. Lawmakers also received information from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services showing that the average cost, over the past five years, for a Medicaid abortion and ancillary services is approximately $1,000 per procedure.

Within an hour of the filing of the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, numerous legislators from across Illinois joined the bill as cosponsors of the legislation, House Bill 4114.