FILE - Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Thursday that Illinois won’t accept money from the federal government for family planning centers after a federal rule barring tax dollars for centers that promote abortions.

Last month, a federal appeals court upheld President Donald Trump's so-called “gag rule.”

“The gag rule holds hostage federal funding for contraception for low-income women unless providers refuse to refer or provide abortion services along with other reproductive health care,” Pritzker said in a statement Thursday.

“While I’m committed to bringing as many federal dollars to the state as possible, I refuse to sacrifice our values and allow vital care to lapse,” the governor said. “In this state, we trust women to make their own health care decisions and will guarantee access to reproductive health care for all of our residents.”

Pritzker said the Illinois Department of Public Health will provide an estimated $2.4 million in state funding to 28 grantees. Pritzker's administration also said it’s committed to a multi-state lawsuit to permanently overturn the Trump rule.

Planned Parenthood of Illinois praised the governor's decision.

“We are glad that the Illinois Department of Public Health is joining Planned Parenthood of Illinois in rejecting the grant because the gag rule is unethical,” Planned Parenthood of Illinois CEO Jennifer Welch said.

Last month, Planned Parenthood announced thanks to its donors it will stay open in Illinois despite the federal rule. Records show Planned Parenthood of Illinois got $18.6 million from state taxpayers between 2009 and 2017.

State Rep. David McSweeney, R-Barrington Hills, has for years been pushing the state to capture as much federal funding as possible to help cover the state’s bills. He called Pritzker’s move a “disgrace."

“This is typical Pritzker,” McSweeney said. “Raise taxes to fund unlimited abortion to the ninth month of pregnancy. It’s an absolute disgrace. If he believes in it so strongly, he’s a billionaire and can write a check out of his own personal pocket and not stick it to hardworking Illinois taxpayers that don’t want to pay for his radical left-wing policies. If he wants to fund Planned Parenthood, he should fund it personally.”

Staff Writer

Greg Bishop reports on Illinois government and other statewide issues for The Center Square. Bishop has years of award-winning broadcast experience, and previously hosted “Bishop On Air,” a morning-drive current events talk show.