Pregnancy centers in California aren’t the only ones fighting a law that requires them to promote the very thing they exist to prevent.
These organizations have to post a notice reminding women that they may kill their unborn babies rather than protect them, and taxpayers might provide the cash.
Pro-lifers face a similar dilemma in Illinois. The governor signed a bill into law that requires health care facilities, doctors, or other health care professionals who decline certain procedures based on their conscience to refer patients to others who’ll perform the procedures. The problem: abortion referrals.
The law amends the Illinois Healthcare Right of Conscience Act, which declares that it’s public policy to “respect and protect” the right of conscience and prohibits “all forms of discrimination, disqualification, coercion, disability or imposition of liability upon such persons or entities by reason of their refusing to act contrary to their conscience or conscientious convictions in refusing to obtain, receive, accept, deliver, pay for, or arrange for the payment of health care services and medical care.”
The amendment adds this sentence to the end of that paragraph:
“It is also the public policy of the State of Illinois to ensure that patients receive timely access to information and medically appropriate care.”
Pro-life health care professionals must, essentially, help women to obtain an abortion. Under this law, the people in business to save lives are mandated to facilitate death.
From the plaintiffs’ counsel, Alliance Defending Freedom:
“No state should attempt to rob women of the freedom to choose a pro-life doctor, but that is the choice that Illinois is eliminating by mandating that pro-life physicians and entities make or arrange abortion referrals. To make matters worse, the state did this by amending a law designed specifically to protect freedom of conscience,” said ADF Senior Counsel Matt Bowman. “As our lawsuit explains, the law is incompatible with the U.S. Constitution and both federal and state law, which protect citizens from being forced by the government to live and act in a way contrary to their faith and conscience.”
“Medical professionals and pregnancy care centers shouldn’t be forced to speak a message completely at odds with their mission and ethics,” explained ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “The centers offer women free information and services and do so at no cost to the government. They empower women who are or think they may be pregnant to give birth in circumstances where they may want to but don’t feel they have the necessary resources or social support. All SB 1564 accomplishes is to eliminate this choice for the women who need it most.”
The Chicago Tribune reported that the new law goes into effect next year.
Photo credit: American Life League (Creative Commons) – Some rights reserved