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To Explain Change On Abortion, Rauner Cites Economic Agenda

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey
NPR Illinois
Gov. Bruce Rauner (file)

Governor Bruce Rauner was asked Friday why he’s changed his position on an abortion law since the 2014 campaign.

At issue is whether Illinois should repeal a prohibition on using state money for the procedure. The restriction affects state employees and low-income people on government health programs.

Rauner supported repeal in 2014, but now says he’d veto such a measure, calling it “divisive” and “controversial.”

Asked what changed his mind, Rauner did not directly answer. Instead, he listed items on his legislative agenda.

“What we need to do is focus on jobs, we need to focus on reducing property taxes, we need to focus on education funding, we need to focus on getting term limits on elected officials,” he told reporters in Chicago.

State senator and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Daniel Biss responded on Twitter, saying prioritizing term limits over abortion rights is “disgusting.”

Brian Mackey formerly reported on state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. Before that, he was A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.
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