Commissioner Britton's Comments on the Illinois Reproductive Health Act (IHRA)

At the June 5th Legislation Committee meeting, the Board voted to receive and file Commissioner Britton's Resolution Urging the Illinois General Assembly to Support HB2495 - The Reproductive Health Act. Below are Commissioner Britton's comments just before the successful vote was taken.


"I believe we must try to maintain a civility on this discussion. I have seen a couple references on social media to my position as both “demonic” and related to the Nazis. I don’t think either of those either of those are true. I have struggled with this issue particularly when I converted to the Catholic religion when I was in college – I am not a born Catholic; I am a chosen Catholic. Under my church’s teaching, and I believe nothing within the resolution we have proposed is an attempt to celebrate abortion, merely to recognize it must remain a woman’s choice and not the choice of the state. That is the sole purpose to this resolution certainly from my perspective. But I also want to point out to our speakers that I sometimes feel that the picking and choosing of moral outrage, particularly as it exists on the other side of the political aisle from my position seems to be very much dependent on what the issue is and what particular driver may be significant to you. I see so often that is a desire to protect the unborn, and then once those children are born there seems to be absolutely no regard for what happens to them as they exist and live their lives in Cook County and throughout the United States. I am reminded, as scripture has been quoted today, of Matthew 25:43 – “I was a stranger, and you took me not in: naked, and you covered me not: sick and in prison, and you did not visit me.” The death penalty is often proposed by those on the other side of the aisle who also would say that abortion should be illegal in the United States, [but] both Pope John Paul II and Pope Francis have indicated the death penalty is not acceptable under Catholic teaching. So it seems we pick and choose which issues we think are most significant to the exclusion of all others. I think there must be a balance and must be a belief that we must let people make their own informed choices. You know, I have made hundreds of votes in the course of my political and public life, but for the first time after this vote I received a text from my daughter who said she had never been more proud of me than when I made that vote in support of this resolution in Springfield. For my proud Catholic daughter, and for all women, I think we should try to work together to make abortion safe, legal and rare."


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