Opponents file lawsuit over Illinois law expanding abortion coverage

Opponents of an Illinois abortion coverage expansion law filed a lawsuit seeking to block state funding for the legislation, according to a Reuters report.

The lawsuit, filed Thursday in Sangamon County Circuit Court, relates to a law that allows the state to fund elective abortions for poor Medicaid recipients and state employees, according to the report. State Medicaid funding for abortions has previously been available in certain instances such as rape, incest and danger to the mother's life or health.

In the lawsuit, the conservative Thomas More Society, some state lawmakers and anti-abortion groups contend Illinois did not earmark up to $30 million in abortion funds for the legislation, reports Reuters. The opponents also question the timeline related to the law's effective date. The law is currently slated to take effect in January. However, according to the report, opponents claim it must be pushed back to June because the law was not sent to the governor within 30 days of being passed, which violates a provision in the Illinois constitution.

Ed Yohnka, the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois' director of public policy and communications, disagreed with the lawsuit, particularly the argument related to fund designation, according to the report.

"That's like saying the General Assembly has to appropriate money for knee replacements," he said, according to Reuters.


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