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Preliminary Victory for Pro-Lifers in Illinois Who Don’t Want to Promote Death

An Illinois law called the Healthcare Right of Conscience Act protected people and organizations from government retaliation for refusing to act against their conscience in health care and medical matters.

For example, a doctor who refused to refer patients to death clinics could cite this law. But the legislature later amended the act to circumvent that protection with this sentence:

“It is also the public policy of the State of Illinois to ensure that patients receive timely access to information and medically appropriate care.”

Within that simple statement lies abortion advocacy. Those who oppose killing babies must refer patients to facilities that will do the killing.

Pro-life pregnancy centers sued to stop the law. Alliance Defending Freedom reported that the plaintiffs scored a victory. A federal court granted a preliminary injunction on Friday, agreeing with plaintiffs that the amendment violates federal law and the U.S. Constitution. An excerpt (emphasis added):

SB 1564 forces pregnancy care centers, medical facilities, and physicians who conscientiously object to involvement in abortions to adopt policies that provide women who ask for abortions with a list of providers “they reasonably believe may offer” them. Federal law prohibits the government from placing burdens on religious conscience without a compelling interest for doing so.

As the court’s order explains, “plaintiffs have demonstrated a better than negligible chance of succeeding in showing that the amended act discriminates based on their viewpoint by compelling them to tell their patients that abortion is a legal treatment option, which has benefits, and, at a minimum and upon request, to give their patients the identifying information of providers who will perform an abortion.”

A California court recently rejected the state’s request to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a pregnancy center. The center sued to stop the enforcement of a mandate to state-licensed, pro-life pregnancy centers to remind women they may kill their babies, and in some cases, for “free.”

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One comment

  1. One could be pardoned for thinking perhaps that the current battle over Americans’ freedom of conscience that we see joined on issues of abortion, religion, gay marriage, etc., is a new phenomenon. Such is not the case. The battle began with the first settlements in the New World, most famously in the confrontation between Roger Williams and the proprietors of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. That one involved acceptable forms of worship, among other issues, and led Williams into exile for a time with local Indian tribes and, eventually, to the founding of the Rhode Island colony. As long as our Constitution has any relevance whatsoever, the battle over freedom of conscience will wax and wane through all out generations.