Tuesday, May 12, 2009

State Rep. Kathy Ryg Comes Under Fire From Lake County Right to Life

This past weekend, State Rep. Kathy Ryg of the 59th legislative district came under fire from Lake County Right to Life for her position on HB 2354, which the group alleges is a "radical pro-abortion bill." Ryg, a popular legislator in her district, isn't used to being protested, so I wonder how she felt about the demonstration.

Kathy Ryg was first elected in a close race against Vernon Hills Mayor Roger Byrne, and has since solidified her political base with a combination of loyalty to the Democratic machine and State Senator Terry Link. She has fended off several GOP challengers over the years including Paul Tully and most recently Dan Sugrue (whom TA understands is very seriously considering a rematch against Ryg in 2010). Ryg prides herself on maintaining a friendly persona and someone who will reach across the aisle to pass legislation, and also pays close attention to her constituent services.

Some, however, wish to paint Ryg as a dyed-in-the-wool liberal, especially with her respect to abortion rights. The Lake County Right to Life group provided Team America with the following description of their peaceful protest and their objections to Ryg's position:

In response to Representative Ryg's continued support for the radical FOCA Bill, Lake County Right to Life organized a peaceful demonstration in front of her office at 50 Lakeview Parkway, Suite 114 in Vernon Hills on May 9, Mother's Day weekend, from 10:00AM to 12:00PM. We picked this day to remind Representative Ryg of the importance of motherhood and the importance of good public policy. She is elected to promote and support and vote for good public policy. HB2354 is dangerous and bad public policy.

Representative Kathy Ryg (D-59) is a co-sponsor of HB 2354. This is a radical pro-abortion bill introduced in this year's legislative session. Lake County Right to Life was opposed to this bill for a number of reasons. It was bad public policy and in spite of numerous phone calls, multiple visits to her office in Vernon Hills and Springfield, Representative Ryg remained a co-sponsor of this radical pro-abortion bill. This bill goes beyond what most Americans will tolerate.

A little about the Bill: HB 2354 would have created a so called Reproductive Health and Access Act or better known as Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA). It was stopped in the Illinois House, due to an unprecedented effort by pro-life, pro-family grass roots organizations, including the Illinois Catholic Conference. The Catholic Conference was joined by most mainstream denominations. The bill failed to come up for a vote because most legislators responded to their constituents. The radical legislation would have created an Illinois Roe v Wade law that would negate any of the US Supreme Court exceptions to it's 1972 Roe v Wade decision. This includes parental notice and partial birth abortion bans, as well as, many important regulations on abortion clinics.

In six different sections of HB 2354, it stated, "not withstanding any other provision of this Act, or any other law to the contrary," This legislative term means this act will supercede any law that now exists. Therefore when HB 2354 says, that "no" state or municipality, political subdivision or other governmental unit, or agency shall not deny or interfere with a pregnant woman's right to terminate a pregnancy, this means that any restrictions, including our Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act, which Planned Parenthood says interferes with a minor girl obtaining an abortion, would be invalidated. It means, that abortions would be legal throughout the full nine months of pregnancy for virtually any reason, including partial-birth abortions and other at-birth killing of human beings, even if Roe v Wade were overturned.

Under "Non-discrimination in funding" HB 2354 stated, "That the Senate shall ensure that individuals eligible for State Medicaid assistance or other State medical assistance, receive financial assistance for reproductive health care (code word for abortion). This means taxpayers would have to fund all abortion under the Medicaid (Welfare) program. HB 2354 would have negated the Illinois ban on Medicaid taxpayer funding of abortions. It would also require abortifacient drugs, like Plan B, the Morning After pill, and sterilization for all ages to be covered under Medicaid.

HB 2354 also undermines the Illinois Right of Healthcare Conscience Act. Healthcare professionals who favor abortion, would have no obligation to inform their patients of any other options. The bill would include a failure to comply, which could include losing their licence, and allows an employer to fire any healthcare employee having religious or conscience objections to abortion. Most, if not all, of our pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, would have been at risk, since most have one or more healthcare professional working with the centers, and they too would have been required to assist a woman in getting an abortion. Finally HB 2354 would require all Illinois public schools teach comprehensive sex education, which promote condom usage and a homosexual life style to children as young as kindergarten. These are just the highlights.

Representative Kathy Ryg refuses to remove her co-sponsorship from this radical bill. She has not responded to her constituency in the manner that most representatives have done. In fact, after pressure from local constituents, Representative Beaubien, and Franks removed their sponsorship, not so Representative Ryg. She even wrote a constituents letter stating, "The supporters of HB 2354 met to review the Reproductive Healthcare Access Act. We agreed that additional clarifications are needed to reflect what the bill does and does not do. We agreed also, that the bill will not be called for a vote in it's present form. Your responses have helped me and my colleagues understand where the language is vague, leading to confusion and/or misunderstanding. We do not wish to be misleading and will continue the discussions between the proponents and opponents as an amendment is prepared."

Obviously, Representative Ryg is a radical pro-abortion advocate going far beyond the average American. But, more importantly, she has not responded to her constituents outcry on this radical pro-abortion bill. If she is meeting because the language is vague, I suggest she gets a pair of glasses or an attorney to explain how radical her views are. The bill was very clear. It has been reviewed by attorneys from both sides. Perhaps Representative Ryg missed the boat.


Anonymous said...

It would be interesting to follow the money trail to see why Rep. Ryg would put herself out on a limb like this. I suspect that she feels pretty safe given the margin of victory she, and most incumbent state dems had in the 'Obama' year....but I suspect that 2010 will be different.

Anonymous said...

TA, did you catch this Archpundit post back in March?


The Right-to-Lifers may stage all the peaceful protests they want, but it's not ok to completely misrepresent legislation in the public sphere. RHAA is not FOCA.

This PDF addresses the specific lies told in these so-called 'mainstream' protesters.

Team America said...

Anon 2:44- I alerted Lake County Right to Life of your comment. Let's see if they respond.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't surprise me that Kathy Ryg supports such a radical bill. A couple of years ago, the United Republican Fund did an analysis of the voting records of everyone in the Illinois House and Senate. Kathy Ryg was tied with Karen May, Harry Osterman and Al Riley as having the most liberal voting record in the entire Illinois General Assembly.

I've heard her brag before about "reaching across the aisle". I'd love to know what specific legislation she's talking about.

Anonymous said...

Here's the URL to that analysis again:


Anonymous said...

Come election time, Ryg will just lie about the legislation in the typical Democrat "bait and switch" maneuver they always use.

Their goal is to keep repeating the lie until even THEY believe its the truth.

Remember, "I invented the internet", "I did not have sex with that girl", and on and on and on....

Anonymous said...

Several years ago I heard that a legistor asked her how she was going to vote on some bill and she responded that "they'd tell me how to vote."

She has a great smile and good hair but that's all I can say about her.

Anonymous said...

Responding to the statement that HB2354 was misrepresented This bill was reviewed by legal professionals including Rep Rygs own Catholic Conference attorneys and it is as stated. If the person has a problem with what was said they should be more specific so the facts can get out on the table rather than smoke and mirrors

Anonymous said...

"She has a great smile and good hair but that's all I can say about her."

And it is lovely comments like that that further cement Ryg's understandable and necessary support of this bill.