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In the race for Governor this year, the choice was simple. Planned Parenthood Illinois Action endorsed J.B. Pritzker because he doesn’t just say he stands with women, he puts his actions into advocacy for issues important to us.  

Let me give you all a little insight into our decision making. 

For us, the decision was clear cut.  J.B. Pritzker hasn’t just talked the talk on reproductive rights, he’s walked the walk. Decades before he was a candidate for office, he marched for women’s reproductive rights in Washington, D.C.  He had been steadfast in his support for increasing access to safe and legal abortion no matter where a woman lives or how she gets her health care coverage.  He knows that Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, poses a very real threat to Roe v. Wade. That’s why he did not hesitate to come out in opposition to Kavanaugh’s nomination. 

Some say that Governor Bruce Rauner signed HB 40 and that should be enough for us. But, let’s take a look at Bruce Rauner’s record.

Yes, Bruce Rauner did sign landmark legislation that protects access to safe and legal abortion in Illinois. But, he did so only after flip- flopping back and forth on the issue. We need a leader who will be unwavering in his commitment to reproductive rights, not someone who equivocates.

Bruce Rauner says he stands with women, but, in 2015, he cut 55,000 children from the state’s child care program[i] The Illinois General Assembly pushed back and restored the program, but Rauner continued to push for more cuts, ignoring the very real needs of Illinois women and their families.[ii]

Bruce Rauner says he stands with women, but his budget crisis shredded the fabric of the social safety net in Illinois. Agencies like rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters were forced to reduce staff and cut services. The damage of the Rauner budget crisis will be felt for years to come as agencies try to recover and collect the millions they are owed despite the passage of the latest state budget.[iii]

Bruce Rauner says he stands with women, but he’s staffed his cabinet with people who oppose safe and legal abortion.  Just recently, he nominated anti-abortion Rep. Patti Bellock for Director of Healthcare and Family Services.  This is a failure to any commitment to implement HB 40 and safeguard women’s reproductive rights in Illinois. If Bellock is confirmed as Director, she would be in charge of implementing a law she opposed.

Bruce Rauner said he stands with women, but he has a different message when he needs to appeal to his conservative base. In December of 2017, during a radio interview he proudly declared, “I am the strongest supporter of candidates for office who are pro-life. Nobody has worked harder to elect pro-life Republicans than I have and I remind everybody of that. I have fought hard. . . I supported Bill Brady when he ran. I’m supporting Erika Harold. . . I’m supporting legislators who are pro-life. I am a strong ally and strong supporter for pro-life candidates.”[iv]

Meanwhile, J.B. Pritzker’s message has been consistent throughout his campaign.  No matter where he is speaking or who is in the audience, he always demonstrates a commitment to Illinois women and to the values that we all hold dear. 

J.B. supports raising the minimum wage so that the American dream is a possibility for struggling Illinois families, especially those headed by women.

J.B. will stand up to Donald Trump’s attempts to cut funding for Planned Parenthood and rollback federal protections for women’s healthcare, like access to birth control.

J.B. will push to strengthen the Illinois Equal Pay Act and end the regressive practice of employers asking about salary history.

J.B. is committed to growing the Child Care Assistance Program so that more children have access to affordable child care.

This is why Planned Parenthood Illinois Action is proud to endorse J.B. Pritzker for Governor of Illinois.

 We are excited to support #TeamJB. Won’t you join us? 

In J.B. Pritzker, Illinois will have a leader who will stand strong on the frontlines, advocating for the issues we value. The people of Illinois deserve no less.

Anel Ruiz
Planned Parenthood Illinois Action Board




[i] “Rauner's child care cuts affect thousands,” WIFR, 6/14/16. http://www.wifr.com/content/news/Rauners-child-care-cuts-affect-thousands-383048131.html

[ii] “Rauner’s budget cuts raiser concerns among advocates for children, people with disabilities,” Monique Garcia, Chicago Tribune, 2/17/18. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-met-bruce-rauner-budget-20180216-story.html

[iii] Comptroller Mendoza and social service providers urge Governor Rauner to start bond offering,” Press release, 6/22/18.  http://illinoiscomptroller.gov/news/press-releases/comptroller-mendoza-and-social-service-providers-urge-governor-rauner-to-start-bond-offering/

[iv] “Rauner reminds abortion foes he's got deep pockets to help them,” by Rick Pearson, Chicago Tribune, 12/19/17. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/politics/ct-met-bruce-rauner-abortion-campaign-contributions-20171218-story.html


Tags: governor, illinois, JB Pritzker