Judge rejects anti-abortion groups' lawsuit against Illinois abortion law HB40

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Thursday, December 28, 2017
A court gavel is seen in this undated image.
A court gavel is seen in this undated image.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- An Illinois judge rejected a lawsuit brought by anti-abortion groups against the state over a bill expanding public financing for abortions Thursday.

The suit, Springfield Right to Life et al v. Felicia Norwood et al, sought an emergency injunction, temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the implementation of the bill.

HB40, which Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law in September that permits abortion coverage by state employee health insurance and Medicaid funds. The bill also safeguards abortion access by striking statutory language expressing the state's intent to criminalize the procedure if the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that legalized abortion, Roe v. Wade, is ever overturned.

Women's rights groups celebrated the decision, but conservatives and anti-abortion groups were furious.

The Thomas Moore Society brought the suit to Sangamon County's Seventh Judicial Circuit Court on behalf of anti-abortion organizations, the Springfield Catholic Diocese, and a group of Illinois legislators from across the state.

The group announced they will appeal the judge's decision.

"We respectfully disagree with the court's ruling and will seek an immediate appeal," stated Peter Breen, Thomas More Society Special Counsel. "The Illinois Constitution was clearly violated here."