101st District hopeful cites moral, fiscal costs of abortion coverage expansion
Dan Caulkins' opposition to Gov. Bruce Rauner's approval of expanding abortion coverage in Illinois is twofold.
“Aside from the moral issues HB 40 presents, there is a fiscal component that cannot be overlooked,” Caulkins, a Republican running to replace retiring Rep. Bill Mitchell (R-Forsyth) in the 101st District, said in a statement. “I am personally very disappointed that Governor Rauner signed HB 40.”
The bill officially became law with Rauner's signature on Thursday. Illinois residents on Medicaid or those working for the state may now receive free abortions for any reason. Before Rauner's signature, coverage was provided for abortions only in cases of rape, incest, and health and life of the mother.
“I’m not only fiscally conservative but also consider myself pro-life,” Caulkins said in his statement. "The Illinois Republican Party also opposes taxpayer-funded abortions. Not only is this bill morally offensive, the financial costs are unknown.”
The 70-year-old Caulkins also points out that the added financial burden to taxpayers comes at a time when the state already has a backlog of at least $14 billion in unpaid debt.
“Our focus should be on returning Illinois to sound fiscal footing instead of pushing these divisive policies,” he said, adding that the legislation could add as much as $21 million in state debt.
Caulkins joins Reps. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) and Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) in publicly chastising Rauner over his decision, with Ives going so far as to insist she will no longer support the governor’s 2018 re-election effort.
“I stand with the majority of Illinois citizens to protect the sanctity of life,” Caulkins said. “Taxpayers should not be forced to fund elective abortions, and I think a middle ground could have been found that would have prevented so many families from having to fund something that goes against their moral compass.”
Rauner’s decision makes him the country’s first governor to sign off on taxpayer funding of abortions.