Rep. Arroyo not commenting on colleague's reported comments prompted by abortion bill
The assistant majority leader in the Illinois State House is co-sponsoring a major reproductive rights bill, but he has not responded to interview requests to talk about the legislation or about a Democratic colleague's reported suggestion that castration would help settle the abortion issue in Illinois.
Rep. Luis Arroyo (D-Chicago) is a co-sponsor of the Reproductive Health Act, House Bill 2495, which would repeal and replace Illinois' current abortion law and make it a fundamental right in the state. HB 2495 is widely seen as a hedge against a possible overturning of the U.S. Supreme Court's 1973 Roe v Wade decision, and its passage seems likely.
Arroyo did not respond to a West Cook News request for comment about HB 2495 and alleged comments by state Rep. Diane Pappas (D-Itasca). Less than a week ago, Wayne Township Republican trustee Jackie Hayden published reports of Pappas' alleged castration suggestions to a DuPage County pro-life group.
Hayden recounted that Pappas said, "You know ladies, with technology the way it is, we wouldn't have an abortion problem if we applied a plan. Now, I've been told it's a bit radical, but if we allowed men to be castrated, took the sperm to the bank, collected tax dollars on it for storage, then when it's time, to have the man decide he's ready to begin a family . . . well, then the problem is solved."
Hayden said Pappas made the comment when Hayden and "a group of concerned citizens" met with Pappas at the lawmaker's district office in Bloomingdale last month to discuss HB 2495. HB 2495, which Hayden said would make Illinois the least restrictive abortion state in the nation, has been in the House Rules Committee since March.
Arroyo's previous abortion positions include his yea vote in April 2007 in favor of House Bill 317, the Abortion Notification Bill, which failed in the House that year, 55 votes to 62. More recently, Arroyo defended his support for the controversial 2017 House Bill 40, which allows state health insurance and Medicaid to cover abortions and was signed into law by then Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
"Reproductive health decisions should be made between women and their doctors, never by extreme politicians like Donald Trump," Arroyo said in a statement at the time. "That is why I voted to repeal a dangerous and outdated provision in state law that would have automatically made abortion illegal in Illinois if Donald Trump and his allies overturn the constitutional right to choose. This legislation will protect women’s access to safe and legal reproductive health care, and show Trump and his right-wing allies that in Illinois we respect women, we trust them to make their own medical decisions, and we will fight to protect their health."