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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner pledges to sign a bill allowing taxpayers to fund abortions.
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Pro-abortion Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner defeats pro-life challenger in GOP primary

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ILLINOIS, March 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Gov. Bruce Rauner has defeated his pro-life challenger, state Rep. Jeanne Ives, in the Republican primary for governor of Illinois.

With 91% percent of precincts reporting, the Associated Press called the race for Rauner, who won 51.7% of the vote to Ives’ 48.3%.

Rauner outraged pro-life advocates last September when he signed into law HB 40, which forced state taxpayers to pay for abortions through Medicaid and ensured that abortion will remain legal in the event Roe v. Wade is overturned. The Illinois Family Institute estimated that the law would finance an additional 10,000 to 15,000 abortions every year.

“I have not and never will change my views” that women “must have” the legal power to abort their children, Rauner said in a press conference announcing his decision. He had earlier promised to veto the legislation.

Following the decision, Chicago Cardinal Blase Cupich said that Rauner “broke his word to the people, especially those who have continued to speak on behalf of the vulnerable child in the womb.”

In addition, Illinois Family Action’s Laurie Higgins notes that Rauner has also signed other pieces of anti-life and anti-family legislation. He approved bills to force pro-life health workers to refer pregnant women to pro-abortion doctors, forbid therapists from treating gender confusion or same-sex attraction in minors, and allowing transgender people to receive birth certificates with the opposite of their biological sex.

By contrast, Ives ran as an avowed pro-life conservative, and confronted Rauner’s deviations from Republican orthodoxy head-on. Last month, she released an ad sarcastically “thanking” him for his left-wing positions. It featured a man in a dress thanking the governor for “let[ting] me use the girls’ bathroom” and a woman in a pink “pussy hat” thanking him for “making all Illinois families pay for my abortions.”

“Rauner chose Planned Parenthood and Personal PAC over pro-lifers or even simply over abiding the spirit of the Hyde Amendment, which remains in force at the federal level,” Ives said in response to the ad’s critics. “And Rauner chose the political agenda of the LGBTQ movement over the privacy interests of moms and dads who don’t want their daughters forced to be in the same bathrooms and locker rooms as men.”

Last week, the conservative National Review endorsed Ives in an editorial calling Rauner a “thoroughly disappointing incumbent” who committed a “glaring lie” on abortion that “should be disqualifying.” By contrast, National Review’s editors called Ives “both a superior candidate to the governor and a solid politician in her own right.”

The GOP primary battle was extremely close, with one Republican consultant telling the Daily Caller earlier today that internal polling showed a “pure toss-up,” albeit one “probably leaning toward Ives.”

In November, [Rauner or Ives] will go on to face Democrat primary victor J.B. Pritzker, billionaire heir to the Hyatt hotel chain, who defeated state Sen. Daniel Biss and developer Chris Kennedy, former head of the University of Illinois board of trustees as well as son of former Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of former President John F. Kennedy.

With Pritzker leading Rauner by double digits in a general election poll last month, Democrats see Illinois as a key opportunity to gain seats in the midterms. The Democratic Governors Association spent at least $451,000 on primary ads attacking both Republican candidates.

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