The GOP tries extra hard to stand for nothing
(Life News) - Eighteen Illinois women’s health organizations are suing Governor Bruce Rauner (Republican) over Illinois’ new law forcing pro-life doctors and pregnancy resource centers to discuss abortion benefits and refer pregnant women for abortions despite their conscience-based opposition to abortion.
The controversial SB 1564, which amended the Health Care Right of Conscience Act effective January 1, 2017, has left Illinois’ over 90 not-for-profit pregnancy resource centers with little choice but to file suit seeking a judicial determination that the law unconstitutionally abridges their free speech and interferes with their religious beliefs.
The Thomas More Society filed for injunctive relief this week on behalf of 18 of the centers, citing violations of multiple rights under the Constitution of the State of Illinois. It filed an action on behalf of two others late last week, The Women’s Centers of Greater Chicagoland and Hope Life Center in Sterling, Illinois. Some of the centers have been forced to stop medical services, which include pregnancy tests, sonograms, and STD testing, until the legal issues are resolved.
Thomas Olp, Attorney for the Thomas More Society, observed, “This law targets pro-life pregnancy centers, which do not refer for abortion, and whose pro-life mission is to advise clients of alternatives to abortion. The new law requires these pro-life centers, and only them, to discuss ‘benefits’ of abortion with their clients and to name abortion providers upon request. This is the essence of forced government speech prohibited by the free speech provisions of our federal and state constitutions.
The First Amendment equally protects the right to speak and not to speak.
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