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Gov. Rauner Weighs Abortion-Rights Bill

(CBS) – Sixty days: That's how long Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has to deal with a controversial abortion bill that reached his desk on Monday.

It's a proposal that's been the subject of an unusual amount of political maneuvering by both sides of the issue.

CBS 2 Political Reporter Derrick Blakley has more.

"I want to listen, I want to travel the state, I want to listen to advocates on both sides. I want to meet with legislators on both sides and be very respectful of their views, and then we'll make a decision," Rauner, a Republican, says.

The proposal, known as House Bill 40, would guarantee abortion remain legal in Illinois, even if the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Roe-v.-Wade decision.

Also, it would extend insurance for abortion to Medicaid patients and state workers.

"The governor, as a candidate, promised to support the entirety of this bill," sponsoring Sen. Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, said. "We passed a bill in the General Assembly with that understanding, and I just hope now he'll live up to his earlier commitments."

That commitment came in a 2014 candidate questionnaire in which Rauner said he didn't like the abortion insurance restrictions.

"I believe it unfairly restricts access based in income," he said then. "I would support a legislative effort to reverse that law."

But as it was considered by lawmakers, Rauner threatened a veto. After it passed, Harmon held the bill for four months before sending it to the governor.

"I decided we should hold it to allow our constituents to weigh in with the governor. Voices were raised all across the state, and I think it's had an effect on him."

The bill hit governor's desk Monday, and the clock is ticking.

Passage of the bill has put the governor in a political corner. If he signs it, GOP conservatives will be angry at what they see as an expansion of access to abortion.

If he vetoes it, he risks the anger of the moderate suburban women who often decide statewide elections.


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