Stuart accused of going against voter wishes by backing abortion bill
Ste Rep. Katie Stuart's (D-Edwardsville) recent support for a bill to provide taxpayer money to state workers seeking abortions proves she is out of touch with her constituents, a Metro East anti-abortion advocate said recently.
“Southern Illinois is known for being more conservative," Autumn Wetzler told the Metro East Sun. "Many people I have talked to about HB40 are completely unaware that their state is trying to pass a law that goes against their beliefs.
House Bill 40, which has passed the General Assembly, removes a “trigger” provision in state's abortion law, a move that is meant to keep abortion legal in the state if the U.S. Supreme Court were to overturn its Roe v. Wade decision.
The bill also expands abortion coverage to women who are state workers using state insurance and those on Medicaid.
Wetzler once lobbied for the Illinois Federation Right to Life and currently works for a crisis pregnancy center, so this is a critical issue for her. She also says the state can't afford it. According to Capitol Fax, the measure would cost taxpayers an estimated $60 million a year.
“The state is behind in paying Medicaid and state employee health benefits already, and to expand our funding would not make any sense,” Wetzler said.
In fact, Wetzler argues that money is a big reason Democrats are pushing a bill that is widely opposed by communities across the state.
“Abortion is a very profitable industry," she said. "Pro-choice organizations back many legislators of the Democratic Party. The only way they can fund their campaigns is to push their funders' agenda.”
Wetzler said she spoke with Stuart about HB40, and Stuart acknowledged being on the fence.
“The bill is currently being rewritten, and I am hoping she will oppose it this next time around, with more people in her district making their voices heard,” Wetzler said.
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