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Published On: Sat, Oct 29th, 2016

Illinois pro-life pregnancy center suing against mandate to ‘promote abortion’

Pregnancy centers in northern Illinois have filed a federal lawsuit alleging their employees’ freedom of speech and religious rights will be violated if the state forces them to give patients information about abortion services.

The lawsuit was filed Thursday against Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and Bryan A. Schneider, secretary of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. It represented the Tri-County Crisis Pregnancy Center, The Life Center Inc., Mosaic Pregnancy & Health Centers, Dr. Tina Gingrich of the Maryville Women’s Center, and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates.

pro-life poster

pro-life poster

The 33-page lawsuit contended that on July 29 the governor signed into a law an amendment to the Illinois Healthcare Right of Conscience Act, which requires centers to speak with women who are inquiring about abortion and where to go to have the procedure. Enforcement of the amendment violates freedom of speech rights, freedom to exercise one’s religion and “constitutes discrimination,” the suit states.

“Pro-life medical professionals shouldn’t be forced into the abortion advocacy business by the state,” responded Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Matt Bowman.

“The state of Illinois shows a complete disregard for the fundamental freedoms of medical professionals and their patients. No one should be coerced into offering abortion referrals – in violation of the U.S. Constitution and both federal and state law – particularly people who have gone into medicine because of their pro-life beliefs and who view the promotion of abortion as a violation of their oath to “do no harm.” The court should act swiftly to halt enforcement of SB 1564, as medical professionals and pregnancy care centers are being forced by the law to express a message completely at odds with their mission and ethics.”

Rauner’s spokeswoman, said in an email that the governor “has never pushed a social agenda and remains committed to government, economic and education reforms that can turnaround Illinois.”

photo Alyson Jones

photo Alyson Jones

 

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