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Brett Kavanaugh's Nomination Revives Abortion Issue In Governor's Race

CHICAGO (CBS) -- President Donald Trump's nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court is reviving the issue of abortion in the Illinois governor's race.

Democrats who fear Roe vs. Wade will be overturned are demanding Gov. Bruce Rauner sign a pledge to keep abortions legal in Illinois.

CBS 2's Political Reporter Derrick Blakley takes a look at how it's playing out in the governor's campaign.

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh spent the day making the rounds in the U.S. Senate, while Chicago democrats flatly predicted Kavanaugh would end legal abortion.

City Clerk Anna Valencia stated, "The President's Supreme Court nominee puts Roe vs. Wade at risk," which is why democrats are demanding Gov. Rauner sign a pledge not to repeal House Bill 40 – a state law that guarantees abortion in Illinois no matter what the Supreme Court does.

"The man can't be trusted. He doesn't tell the truth. That's why he needs to sign this pledge," said Terry Cosgrove of Personal PAC, a pro-choice lobbying group.

Rauner waffled for weeks before singing House Bill 40 , nearly losing the GOP primary as a result, but says he sees no need for another pledge.

"I signed legalization here in Illinois so women's reproduction rights are protected, regardless of what happens at the federal level," Rauner said.

House Bill 40 also extended abortion coverage to Medicaid patients. Tax-payer funded abortions in Illinois grew from 84 in the first six months of last year to 314 this year.

State Representative David McSweeney (R-Barrington) said, "Where I do think the court will be important in the future is the whole issue of taxpayer-funded abortion. I think that will be challenged all the way through the courts."

If confirmed, Kavanaugh could cast a key vote on the issue and Governor Rauner supports the nominee.

"I believe he's highly experienced, well qualified, and I hope his nomination is voted on and approved expeditiously," Rauner stated.

Democratic nominee for governor, J.B. Pritzker, signed that pledge to protect HB40. He has also been endorsed by Personal PAC.

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