(The Center Square) – An Illinois lawmaker says Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s attempt to lure corporations from Texas using the abortion issue is misguided.
Pritzker wrote to the CEOs of several Texas businesses, including Dell and Hewlett Packard, to encourage them to move to Illinois after Texas passed a law restricting abortion access, Politico first reported.
Texas’ Heartbeat Act bans abortion once cardiac activity can be detected in a fetus. The law went into affect after the U.S. Supreme Court denied a request for a stay from abortion providers.
In his first year in office, Pritzker signed the Reproductive Health Act, declaring Illinois the most progressive state in the country on abortion access.
“So as radical legislators in Texas functionally eradicate the autonomy of half the state, cutting off access to basic health care, family planning, and the freedom to thrive, I invite you to consider a new home base for your company – one that embraces the policies of the 21st century and aligns with your company’s values to ensure women succeed,” Pritzker wrote to the CEO of Oracle and others.
State Rep. Andrew Chesney, R-Freeport, said the move missed the mark.
“There has always been a moral, social argument on where people fall on abortion, but I don’t know if I have ever seen a governor use it as a desperate attempt to lure companies because of social issues,” Chesney said.
Repeated requests for comment from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity went unanswered.
For years, Texas has been trying to lure businesses away from other states, especially those with higher taxes. The Lone Star State has run ads promoting its low taxes and light business regulations, while criticizing the “tax and spend policies of the liberal leadership” in blue states like Illinois.
The city of Chicago recently took out a full page newspaper ad in the Dallas Morning News in an attempt to lure people fed up with the state’s abortion and voting laws.
“In Chicago, we believe in every person’s right to vote, protecting reproductive rights, and the science to fight COVID-19,’ the ad read.
Chesney said changes need to be made in Illinois or else it will be status quo and businesses will stay away.
“The underlying problems still exist in Illinois and the foundation of the economy is fractured and in many places it is broke,” Chesney said. “Unless there are structural changes, you are continue to see Illinois lose the young and brightest because they are going to go to places where there’s more opportunity and unfortunately it is not in Illinois.”