Gov. J.B. Pritzker announced July 18 that Illinois will not accept an estimated $2.4 million in federal funding, so that family planning clinics in the state can continue to offer abortion services.
New federal regulations now bar clinics that receive Title X funding from providing abortions and abortion referrals. (Title X is a longstanding federal grant program dedicated to family planning and reproductive health care.) The guidelines also require medical clinics and abortion facilities to have separate finances and physical space.
Pritzker tweeted the Illinois Department of Public Health will provide funding for health care providers while the new rule remains in place. Illinois Republicans said the decision displayed the governor’s “unrivaled zeal for forced taxpayer funding of abortions.”
“This episode highlights exactly how extreme Illinois is in dealing with abortion,” the Illinois Republican Party said in a statement following Pritzker’s announcement. “Our state now allows abortion for almost any reason up until the moment of birth, and taxpayers who find this unconscionable must pay for the procedure.”
Last spring, the Illinois General Assembly passed legislation making Illinois what Pritzker termed “the most progressive state in the nation for reproductive health care.” The Reproductive Health Act repeals several long-standing restrictions on abortion in Illinois and declares the choice to have an abortion a “fundamental right.”
– With reporting from Baptist Press