As Gov. Bruce Rauner vows to veto an abortion-related bill, he and his wife are listed as $50,000 sponsors for a Planned Parenthood of Illinois fundraiser next week.
The April 26 fundraiser in Chicago bills itself as “a night celebrating Planned Parenthood’s 100 year anniversary, while mingling with other Planned Parenthood supporters.” In addition to Rauner, other sponsors include billionaire J.B. Pritzker, who is seeking the Democratic nomination to run for governor.
“We are really thrilled to have the support of Diana and Bruce Rauner,” said Katie Theide, vice president of development at Planned Parenthood of Illinois. “I know that they are excited about sponsoring the event this year.”
The Planned Parenthood fundraiser comes after the governor last week said he would veto House Bill 40, which would make a symbolic commitment to retain abortion rights if Roe v. Wade were overturned. The bill would also direct the state to pay for some abortions through Medicaid and the state’s employee health plan.
Rauner spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis would not comment directly on the fundraiser Tuesday.
“Governor Rauner is committed to protecting women's reproductive rights under current Illinois law,” she said in a statement. “However, recognizing the sharp divisions of opinion of taxpayer funding of abortion, he does not support HB40.”
In a statement Tuesday, the board chairwoman of Planned Parenthood of Illinois, Susan Musich, criticized the governor for his veto threat.
“Last week, Governor Rauner let us know his true stance on reproductive rights,” Musich said. “By stating his intention to veto HB 40, Governor Rauner is refusing to safeguard legal access to abortion in Illinois in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned. Further, he is perpetuating discrimination against women with low-incomes by prohibiting them from using state Medicaid coverage to access abortion care.”
The governor’s support for the Planned Parenthood fundraiser was first reported by Capitol Fax, which pointed out that Diana Rauner signed a letter used in a campaign ad, saying her husband was pro-choice.