In a move certain to upset many within his Republican base, Gov. Bruce Rauner says he will sign HB40, which grants new protections to women seeking abortions.

The new law will expand abortion coverage for low-income women on Medicaid and others on state health insurance.  It would also overturn the state’s ‘trigger law’, which would have automatically made abortion illegal in Illinois were the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn the abortion rights decision ‘Roe v. Wade’.

In a statement, Gov. Rauner said, “I understand abortion is a very emotional issue with passionate opinions on both sides. I sincerely respect those who believe abortion is morally wrong. They are good people motivated by principle. But, as I have always said, I believe a woman should have the right to make that choice herself and I do not believe that choice should be determined by income. I do not think it’s fair to deny poor women the choice that wealthy women have.”

Rauner has never considered himself to be a religious conservative, and has split with the ‘religious right’ wing of his party in the past.  In his statement saying he will sign the bill, he appears to acknowledge the political heat his decision will bring.  “I know there will be many people who disagree and I respect their opinions. I respect their passion. It is my hope that good people can disagree respectfully and can come together on other important issues that affect our state.”