GOP governor sued for forcing doctors to promote abortion

By Bob Unruh

Rauner
Gov. Bruce Rauner, R-Illinois

The governor of Illinois on Friday got sued for signing into law a plan that includes provisions to force doctors to promote abortion – even if they have religious objections to the procedure.

The lawsuit was filed by officials with the Alliance Defending Freedom on behalf of the Pregnancy Care Center of Rockford, Area Pregnancy Care Center, Dr. Anthony Caruso and others.

It names Gov. Bruce Rauner and the state’s secretary of its Department of Financial & Professional Regulation, Bryan Schneider.

“No state should attempt to rob women of the right to choose a pro-life doctor by forcing pro-life physicians and entities to make or arrange abortion referrals. What’s even worse is that Illinois did this by amending a law designed specifically to protect freedom of conscience,” ADF Senior Counsel Matt Bowman said in a prepared statement.

Read the tested and proven strategies to defeat the abortion cartel, in “Abortion Free: Your Manual for Building a Pro-Life America One Community at a Time.”

“The governor should have vetoed this bill for many reasons, including its incompatibility with Illinois law and the state constitution, which specifically protects freedom of conscience and free speech,” he said.

The law adopted by Rauner is to force medical facilities and doctors both – including those who conscientiously object to abortion – to promote abortion to women patients.

That’s even though Illinois law already had banned government from placing burdens on religious conscience without a “compelling interest.”

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Specifically, the Illinois Constitution protects “liberty of conscience,” and specifies that “no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or capacity, on account of his religious opinions.”

The ADF had written to Rauner in May advising him that SB 1564 also “would violate federal law and therefore place federal funding, including Medicaid reimbursements, in jeopardy.”

The ADF told Rauner at the time, “SB 1564 takes away the rigthts of Illinois women to be treated by a pro-life doctor. … By violating the pro-life and religious principles of pro-life physicians and medical organizations, SB 15646 would deprive Illinois women of their choice of a medical provider that does not refer or arrange for abortions in any way.”

It continued, “The federal government has long declared that states cannot receive federal funding if they rob women of the right to choose a pro-life doctor by forcing pro-life physicians and entities to refer or arrange for abortions.”

“Pro-life health care professionals shouldn’t be forced to hand out lists describing how to contact abortionists, yet that’s what this law mandates that they do,” said ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot. “If this profane amendment to Illinois’ conscience protection law remains on the books, doctors and medical staff committed to saving all lives will be forced to promote the killing of some children, women will lose access to doctors who unconditionally value human life, and pregnancy resource centers that offer free help and hope to pregnant women will be forced to refer to abortionists. This is the kind of government coercion that the state constitution, the state Religious Freedom Restoration Act, and the very law that was amended were all designed to prevent.”

The complaint alleges the state has violated the Illinois Religious Freedom Restoration Act and the Illinois Constitution, and it asks for a permanent injunction against the law.

California earlier adopted a similar provision, which also is under court challenge, and most recently officials there accused three centers of violating what the state calls its “transparency” laws.

According to California Healthline, “The Los Angeles city attorney’s office has alerted three … ‘crisis pregnancy centers’ that they are violating a new state law intended to ensure that women know their all options when making a decision about an unplanned pregnancy.”

There, the state also requires care centers “to disclose that they’re not licensed by the state to provide medical care,” and also refer to various abortion businesses.

Read the tested and proven strategies to defeat the abortion cartel, in “Abortion Free: Your Manual for Building a Pro-Life America One Community at a Time.”

 

 

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