Illinois may be a battleground for the pro-life movement, but we are making progress every day, locally and in our State government. Here are some of the legislative victories we have had, just over the past five legislative years alone:
This bill was introduced to implement the Obamacare Health Exchange in Illinois. The law did not have an opt-out provision that would prohibit tax dollars from going toward insurance plans that cover abortion in the state exchanges. Illinois Right to Life Action’s legislative chairman, Ralph Rivera, and other entities such as the insurance industry, created enough contention about the state exchange that the sponsor of the bill and the democratic leadership decided to not move forward on the legislation.
This bill, known as the “Assisted Reproduction and [Human] Egg Donation Act,” would have allowed human eggs to be bought and sold. When the sponsor of the bill was informed by Illinois Right to Life Action of the pro-life movement’s opposition to the legislation, the sponsor decided to not move forward on the bill and it subsequently died that year.
This legislation was introduced to amend the Adoption Act. It allowed certain parties to obtain confidential court records that could expose the identities of birth mothers who chose to place their babies in adoptive homes with the confidence that their privacy would be protected. Unilateral action of this bill could have undermined the work of crisis pregnancy centers in counseling abortion-bound women who are considering placing their babies in adoptive homes (where their privacy is protected). Through the continued efforts of Illinois Right to Life Action’s legislative chairman, the bill was defeated.
This bill was introduced to allow the transfer of human tissue from a living donor for those with commercial interests. In doing so, this bill opened the door for the sale of fetal tissue from aborted babies for research. Through the efforts of Illinois Right to Life’s legislative chairman, an amendment was made to define “human tissue” as not including aborted fetal body parts.
This bill amended the Physician Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment [POLST] form to allow for medical personnel, other than physicians, to sign and witness the forms. This would allow less medically experienced personnel, specifically physician assistants and advanced practice nurses, to counsel patients and sign onto POLST forms, which have many problems and dangers for patients already. Illinois Right to Life Action’s legislative chairman did a full court press in the Illinois General Assembly, testifying in House and Senate committees about the problems with the POLST form itself and the proposed amendment. Although the bill passed into law, Illinois Right to Life Action succeeded in persuading the bill sponsors to work with Ralph and the Illinois Department of Public Health on making changes to the POLST form. As a result, many of the requested changes were made to form.
This bill would have placed a burden on parents who refused to have their children vaccinated with drugs produced from aborted fetuses. After meeting with the Senate sponsor, Illinois Right to Life Action’s legislative chairman and others were successful in reducing the included burdens, before it was passed into law.