Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Crisis Pregnancy Centers Sue Illinois Over Law Forcing Them To Discuss Abortion With Clients

Illinois Capitol

By Susan Michele-Hanson
Live Action News

Some crisis pregnancy centers in Illinois have filed a lawsuit against state officials, including Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, claiming a new law violates their constitutional right to free speech because it requires them to offer advice they find to be morally wrong, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The paper explains:

Providers must offer a “standard of care” that includes informing patients of their medical options, such as abortion or contraception, even if the physician is opposed to it for religious or moral reasons, under the new law, which went into effect Jan. 1. If the patient is seeking a particular treatment, the physician or nurse must at least provide a list of providers.

But pro-life professionals are crying foul. Chicago Now reports:
After the Supreme Court legalized abortion in Roe v. Wade in 1973, federal legislation was passed to represent the interests of doctors and other healthcare workers who have religious or moral objections to the controversial procedure. These “right-of-conscience” laws provide a measure of protection for medical personnel who do not want to perform abortions or offer abortion referrals.
In Illinois, all that changed on January 1 of this year, when Governor Bruce Rauner’s amendment to the legislation officially took effect, requiring clinicians, regardless of their moral convictions, to inform pregnant women about “all their options,” including abortion. Healthcare entities must at least provide women with abortion referrals.
But as Thomas Olp, from the Thomas More Society said, “A pro-life physician cannot in good conscience do that” because a pro-lifer referring a woman to an abortion center would constitute “material involvement in something that’s inherently evil.”

Thus, some pregnancy centers filed the lawsuit, seeking their First Amendment rights. According to the Tribune:

The two Christian clinics — 1st Way Pregnancy Support Services in McHenry County and Pregnancy Aid South Suburbs — and Dr. Ronald Schroeder, who works at various crisis pregnancy centers, filed a lawsuit earlier this year in federal court in Springfield. The case recently was transferred to federal court in Chicago, and then to Rockford, where it will be consolidated with another Thomas More lawsuit over the law.

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