Illinois governor Bruce Rauner has signed a bill into law that, among other provisions, will require Medicaid in the state to cover elective abortions. Governor Rauner issued a statement saying “I understand abortion is a very emotional issue with passionate opinions on both sides. I sincerely respect those who believe abortion is morally wrong. They are good people motivated by principle. But, as I have always said, I believe a woman should have the right to make that choice herself and I do not believe that choice should be determined by income. I do not think it’s fair to deny poor women the choice that wealthy women have.”

To be clear, this bill does not remotely give poor women the choice that wealthy women have. Wealthy women can choose to bear children without having to worry whether they’ll be able to feed them, house them, raise them in safe neighborhoods, and educate them in quality schools. This bill is about giving poor women parity as regards one particular choice, and one only.

According to the Alan Guttmacher Institute, 75% of women who sought abortions in 2014 were poor or low-income. Twenty-six percent had incomes of 100–199% of the federal poverty level, and 49% had incomes of less than 100% of the federal poverty level ($15,730 for a family of two). Exactly how free are those choices? How much is that choice “determined by income”?

Rauner’s administration has devastated virtually every other social service for the poor, and now we’re supposed to believe he’s acting out of respect for poor women? Sure–and Hugh Hefner promoted abortion in Playboy because he was all about the feminism.

When I attended the helping pregnant women Open Hearts, Open Minds and Fair Minded Words conference last fall, pro-choice and pro-life attendees alike expressed frustration with politicians who talked a good game about protecting human life but then tried to cut funding to programs that help women choose life for their children.

We're told that the government doesn't need to help people, because that's what private charity is for. But private charity can't do the job alone. Crisis pregnancy centers rely not only on volunteers and donations, but on referring clients to government assistance programs such as Medicaid and WIC.  Medicaid pays for more than 40% of births in the United States. Ask a crisis pregnancy center volunteer how much harder their job will get if Medicaid is cut.

Please urge your members of Congress to reject Medicaid cuts.