Senate holds abortion expansion bill from going to governor's desk

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WAND)- Senate Democrats are putting the brakes on the abortion expansion bill that passed the Senate Wednesday afternoon. 

Senator Don Harmon, D-Oak Park, filed a motion to reconsider the Senate's vote on House Bill 40, in order to let Governor Rauner reconsider his veto on the measure. 

"The measure is too important to immediately put it in the hands of a governor whose public opinions about women's access to safe, affordable reproductive health care have been inconsistent at best." said Senator Harmon, a chief co-sponsor of the bill. 

The motion allows the Senate to hold the bill in the chamber before sending it the governor's desk for final approval. Many Democrats have criticized the governor for his stance on the measure, bringing up his campaign in 2014, where he had said he would sign a bill like this if it were to reach his desk. But conservatives in the state are adamantly opposed to this bill, and could put their support for Rauner in jeopardy if he were to sign it into law. 

Senator Heather Steans, D-Chicago, the sponsor of the measure supports Senator Harmon's decision to hold the bill. 

"The governor originally had been discussing that he was supportive of the things that we were trying to achieve in House Bill 40. I then heard he came out saying he was going to veto it. We are hoping he can get back to being a yes on it with encouragement. We really want to give him more time to help him consider it. Give him some time to get to yes." said Senator Steans. 

The bill does two things. First, it removes trigger language from the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975 that could make abortions illegal in the state if Roe v. Wade is overturned federally. Second, and the point of contention for opponents, it expands coverage of abortion for those on Medicaid and state employee health insurances. 

The bill passed the House in April. 

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