Anti-Life Legislation

Anti-Life Legislation on our “Watch List”

Title: Senate Bill 1407 [SB 1407] – Freedom of Choice Act (FOCA) for abortion

Sponsor(s): Senator Heather Steans (D) 7th district

Summary: At this time, SB 1407 is a “shell bill.” Language for the bill still needs to be written, but it is suspected to be the same as the FOCA bill that was defeated in 2009. This bill creates a “right to abortion” in Illinois.  It negates all U.S. Supreme Court exemptions to its 1972 Roe vs. Wade decision, such as Partial-Birth Abortion Bans, Parental Notification, and other important regulations on abortion clinics. It also forces all Illinois taxpayers to pay for abortions of those under Medicaid, shields abortionists from civil and criminal penalties for botched abortions, and forces healthcare professionals to assist women in obtaining abortions.

Status of the bill: SB 1407 was referred to the Senate Committee on Assignments. The bill is dead for this year, but will continue to be monitored.

Our position: Illinois Right to Life strongly opposes this legislation.

Action: TBA.

Title: House Bill 3735 [HB 3735]

Sponsor(s): Rep. Deb Conroy (D) 46th district, Silvana Tabares (D) 21st district, Gregory Harris (D) 13th district, John C. D’Amico (D) 15th district, Michelle Mussman (D) 56th district, Jaime M. Andrade (D) 40th district, Jr., Carol Sente (D) 59th district, Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D) 34th district

Summary: HB 3735 amends the Unified Code of Corrections. It makes “intimidation” of patients attending a clinic, or physicians or nurses performing services at the clinic, a crime. Intimidation is vaguely defined to include speech exposing any person to hatred, contempt, or ridicule, which can be used to target side walk counselors and clinic protestors.

Status of the bill: HB 3735 did not come up for a vote by the deadline required in the House. It was re-referred to the House Rules Committee. The bill is dead for this year, but will continue to be monitored.

Our position: Illinois Right to Life strongly opposes this legislation.

Action: TBA

Title: House Resolution 78 [HR 78]

Sponsor(s): Rep. Laura Fine (D) 17th district, Ann M. Williams (D) 11th district, Gregory Harris (D) 13th district, Sara Feigenholtz (D) 12th district, Anna Moeller (D) 43rd district, Jaime M. Andrade, Jr. (D) 40th district, Will Guzzardi (D) 39th district, Deb Conroy (D) 46th district, Michelle Mussman (D) 56th district, Robyn Gabel (D) 18th district, Kathleen Willis (D) 77th district, Natalie A. Manley (D) 98th district, Martin J. Moylan (D) 55th district, Camille Y. Lilly (D) 78th district

Summary: This resolution calls for continued funding of Planned Parenthood by the United States Congress.

Status of the resolution: While a number of pro-life legislators spoke strongly against the resolution on the floor of the House, the resolution was adopted 53-39 vote. Sixty votes is normally required to pass a bill, but since this was only a resolution, it only took more yes votes than no votes to be adopted.

Our position: Illinois Right to Life strongly opposes this legislation.

Planned Parenthood released its annual report for the FY2015-2016. Here’s what we learned from the report:

  1. Planned Parenthood lost 100,000 clients in 1 year. 

The report documents that Planned Parenthood serviced approximately 2.4 million people in the FY2015-2016, a drop from the 2.5 million people they reportedly serviced in FY2014-2015. From 2011 to 2015, Planned Parenthood’s clientele dropped by more than 600,000. It seems to be that the numbers keep falling.

  1. Abortions are up. 

Planned Parenthood performed 328,348 abortions in the FY 2015-2016. That’s an increase from the 323,999 abortions the year before. Based on the latest statistics from the Guttmacher Institute (the research arm of Planned Parenthood), that means approximately 35.4% of all U.S. abortions have been done by Planned Parenthood. There’s no doubt they are the nation’s largest abortion provider.

  1. Contraceptive services, cancer screenings, and pap tests & breast exams are down. 

The number of contraceptive services provided by Planned Parenthood decreased by 136,244 in 2015-2016, contributing to a 30% drop in contraceptive services since 2009, according to reports. In addition, cancer screenings dropped 16,947, factoring into a 69% drop in screenings from 2004, and pap tests and breast exams decreased 19,843. In fact, breast exams have declined 65% since 2004.

  1. Government funding increased. 

In the FY2015-2016, Planned Parenthood received $554.6 million in government funding. That’s an increase of almost $1 million from the year prior. At the same time, private donations to Planned Parenthood totaled $445.8 million. With all this cash, Planned Parenthood actually came out with $77.5 million in revenue over expenses (and that’s up from $58.8 million reported last year).

In July of 2015, David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress released undercover footage of Planned Parenthood officials discussing the sale of aborted baby body parts. Now, as seen in their annual report, Planned Parenthood is making a desperate effort to save face amidst their decreasing favorability, claiming they are “an irreplaceable component of our country’s healthcare system” and “stronger, smarter, and fiercer.”

Frankly, all we see are increasing abortions, decreasing “other services,” dropping clientele, and over half a billion in government funding is still being sent their way.

Is Planned Parenthood worth it when the country has 13,540 alternative, comprehensive healthcare clinics that provide the same services – just not abortion? We don’t think so.

To read our “Case Against Planned Parenthood,” click here.

Action: TBA

Title: Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 4 [SJRCA 4] – Equal Rights Amendment to the federal Constitution

Sponsor(s): Senator Heather Steans (D) 7th district, Iris Y. Martinez (D) 20th district, Scott M. Bennett (D) 52nd district, Kimberly A. Lightford (D) 4th district, Daniel Biss (D) 9th district, Laura M. Murphy (D) 28th district, Cristina Castro (D) 22nd district

Summary: This amendment would solidify a “right to abortion” in this country.

Status of the resolution: SJRCA 4 remains on first reading in the Senate. The constitutional resolution was introduced in February 2017 and a committee hearing was held in April 2017.  No further action has been taken at this time. However, as a constitutional amendment, it does not have a deadline. It can be considered in the Senate this year or next year.

Our position: Illinois Right to Life strongly opposes this legislation.

Action: TBA


Anti-Life Legislation Signed into Law

Title: House Bill 40 [HB 40]

House: Rep. Sara Feigenholtz (D) 12th district, Emanuel Chris Welch (D) 7th district, Carol Ammons (D) 103rd district, Luis Arroyo (D) 3rd district, Barbara Flynn Currie (D) 25th district, Juliana Stratton (D) 5th district, Silvana Tabares (D) 21st district, Thaddeus Jones (D) 29th district, Carol Sente (D ) 59th district, Ann M. Williams (D) 11th district, Elizabeth Hernandez (D) 24th district, Gregory Harris (D) 13th district, Lou Lang (D) 16th district, Laura Fine (D) 17th district, Robyn Gabel (D) 18th district, Theresa Mah (D) 2nd district, Camille Y. Lilly (D) 78th district, Scott Drury (D) 58th district, Kelly M. Cassidy (D) 14th district, John C. D’Amico (D) 15th district, Will Guzzardi (D) 39th district, Robert Martwick (D) 19th district, Cynthia Soto (D) 4th district, Jaime M. Andrade (D) 40th district, Jr., Elgie R. Sims, Jr. (D) 39th district, Jehan Gordon-Booth (D) 92nd district, Justin Slaughter (D) 27th district

Senate: Sen. Heather A. Steans (D) 7th district, Don Harmon (D) 39th district, Daniel Biss (D) 9th district, Cristina Castro (D) 22nd District, Omar Aquino (D) 2nd district, Laura M. Murphy (D) 28th district, Iris Y. Martinez (D) 20th district, David Koehler (D) 46th district, Emil Jones III (D) 14th district, Mattie Hunter (D) 3rd district, Patricia Van Pelt (D) 5th district, Kimberly A. Lightford (D) 4th district

Summary: This bill will repeal the ban on taxpayer funding of abortions under Medicaid and the ban on state employee’s group insurance policies covering abortions.  HB 40 will cover abortions for any reason throughout the full nine months of pregnancy and all with State tax dollars. This bill will also remove language in the Preamble of the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, stating that Illinois recognizes the unborn child as a person, and will remove what is called the “Trigger” statement that if, in effect, the U.S. Supreme Court reverse Roe v. Wade, then “the former policy of this State to prohibit abortions unless necessary for the preservation of the mother’s life shall be reinstated.”

Status of the bill: Governor Rauner has signed HB 40 into law. The law went into effect on January 1, 2018. HB 40 passed the Illinois House 62-55. It passed the Illinois Senate 33-22.

Our Position: Illinois Right to Life strongly opposes this legislation.

Illinois Right to Life opposes HB 40 for the following reasons:

  1. Free Medicaid abortions. No restrictions. Payed for by Illinois taxpayers.

This bill will make each Illinoisan pay for abortions through the full nine months of pregnancy for any reason, even when the unborn child can feel pain and survive outside the womb, for those on Medicaid. Currently, the State Medicaid program already pays for abortions in cases of rape, incest, health and life of the mother. Now, it would also pay for abortions even if the only reason for the abortion is convenience.

  1. Illinois Abortions will rise.

We’re projecting that this bill could increase Illinois abortions as many as 12,000 more per year, based on data from the last time Medicaid funded abortions. That’s on top of the already 39,856 abortions per year. The ACLU admitted that 18-35% of those on Medicaid state they will not have an abortion unless it is free.

  1. State spending is limitless.

There is no cap to the number of abortions that could be covered by Medicaid, and essentially no cap to the amount of taxpayer dollars spent. The General Assembly is essentially handing over a blank check to the abortion industry. The actual financial burden to the State can’t be determined, but we look to the current rates and statistics for an estimate:

In 2014 alone, Stroger Hospital, a low-income hospital in Cook County, Illinois, performed 6,338 abortions. Abortions provided to low-income women at this hospital are subsidized by Cook County tax dollars. This is about 16% of all the abortions in the state of Illinois. The current cost per abortion that Medicaid is paying right now is $1,650. (We’ll get to that in a minute). These 6,338 abortions could cost the State over $10 million ($10,637,830). This cost would now be carried by Illinois taxpayers.

But it gets worse. The last time Illinoisans paid for unrestricted Medicaid funded abortions was in the late ’70s. Approximately 12,738 abortions were paid for by Medicaid at a cost of over $1.8 million ($1,876,837). Given the current rate, abortions could cost the State over $21 million ($21,379,713).

  1. Abortion is made a “health benefit” for state employees.

The State Employees Group Insurance Act of 1971 (amended in 1980) provides that the program of health benefits for state employees will cover expenses for dental services, prescription drugs, hearing evaluations, hearing aids, outpatient diagnostic x-rays, and laboratory tests. It specifically states that abortions will not be included in this benefit package, unless the procedure is necessary for “the preservation of the life of the woman.” A court ruling following the enactment of this legislation expanded this abortion coverage to rare cases of rape, incest, and danger to the health of the woman. But HB 40 strikes this language completely, making abortions – for any reason – a “health benefit,” paid for with your tax dollars.

  1. Language protecting women from abortion doctors with criminal histories is removed.

Illinois Public Aid Code states:

“The Illinois Department, by rule, shall prohibit any physician from providing medical assistance to anyone eligible therefore under this Code where such physician has been found guilty of performing an abortion procedure in a willful and wanton manner upon a woman who was not pregnant at the time such abortion procedure was performed.”

What does HB 40 do?

You guessed it – it scraps this language too. HB 40 would now make it possible for abortion providers, who have committed horrendous acts against women – like intentionally performing an abortion on a woman who is not pregnant – to continue to do business with the Medicaid program and receive state funding for their work. What could be a more obvious example of complete disregard the safety and well-being of women?

  1. State grants allowed to go to organizations that refer for, counsel for, and provide abortions.

According to the current text of the Problem Pregnancy Health Services and Care Act, the Illinois Department is allowed to make grants to non-profit agencies and organizations that provide certain medical services and treatments. However, it specifically states that grants cannot be sent to organizations that refer for, counsel for, or perform abortions.

HB 40 strikes this restriction, allowing taxpayer funded state grants to be sent to abortion providers and other organizations in Illinois that not only provide abortions but also encourage and refer women for abortions. This is just another way to push Illinoisans into funding the abortion business.

  1. Language reaffirming the humanity of the unborn child taken out.

“The General Assembly of the State of Illinois do solemnly declare and find in reaffirmation of the longstanding policy of this State, that the unborn child is a human being from the time of conception and is, therefore, a legal person for purposes of the unborn child’s right to life and is entitled to the right to life from conception under the laws and Constitution of this State.”

This declaration is part of the first section of the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, and HB 40 throws it entirely out.  In 1975, the General Assembly made clear that the State recognized the unborn child as a human being, and since then, science and medicine have done nothing less than continue to prove this to be true.  Currently, Illinois has three state laws that also rely on this definition. These laws recognize the death of an unborn child as a homicide if the mother is murdered or killed in motor vehicle accident.

If legislators are moving to remove this language, we have to ask ourselves: as a people, and as State, what are we trying to say? What message are we sending to our citizens who choose to live here? That we don’t recognize the scientifically proven humanity of the unborn child anymore?

  1. The “Trigger Law” proposition is a hoax.

The other side will argue HB 40 is about keeping abortion legal in Illinois. Bill proponents say that if Roe v. Wade is overturned by the Supreme Court, abortion would become illegal in Illinois – hence the so called “trigger law.” However, the Chicago Tribune reported in 2017, 2006 and 1991 that their editorial board, the ACLU, a local judge, and the Illinois Legislative Research Unit for the General Assembly all agree: abortion would remain legal in Illinois should Roe v. Wade be overturned in the U.S. Supreme Court.

Unfortunately, as you can see, legislators have resorted to deceiving women with scare tactics and inaccurate information to force their abortion-expanding bill to pass. What would help women the most would be for the General Assembly to stop wasting time trying to increase abortions and instead focus on pulling our state out of the financial crisis they got us into.

Action: Illinois Right to Life Action, along with several other pro-life lawmakers and organizations, has sued the state over HB40. See “Lawsuits” for more information.

Title: SB 1564


Senate Sponsors:
Sen. Daniel Biss – Julie A. Morrison – Toi W. Hutchinson – Linda Holmes – Kimberly A. Lightford, Michael Noland, Heather A. Steans, William Delgado, Iris Y. Martinez, Jacqueline Y. Collins, Emil Jones, III, Donne E. Trotter, Mattie Hunter and Kwame Raoul

House Sponsors:
(Rep. Robyn Gabel – Barbara Flynn Currie – Pamela Reaves-Harris – Will Guzzardi, Ann M. Williams, Deb Conroy, Jaime M. Andrade, Jr., Kelly M. Cassidy, Marcus C. Evans, Jr., Martin J. Moylan, Mike Smiddy, Litesa E. Wallace, Gregory Harris, Emanuel Chris Welch, Silvana Tabares, Elizabeth Hernandez, Carol Sente, Scott Drury, Christian L. Mitchell, Anna Moeller and Sara Feigenholtz)

Summary: Senate Bill 1564, amends the Healthcare Right of Conscience Act. It undermines the conscience protections of pro-life healthcare providers and threatens the core mission of pregnancy resource centers. This legislation forces every doctor, pharmacist, and pregnancy resource center to refer for abortions, tell patients the “benefits” of abortion, and present abortion as a “legal treatment option.”

Status of the bill: Senate Bill 1564 was signed into law by Governor Rauner on July 29, 2016. The law took effect on January 1st, 2017.

Our position: Illinois Right to Life strongly opposes this legislation.

Illinois Right to Life opposes SB 1564 for the following reasons:

Senate Bill 1564 forces every doctor, pharmacist, and pregnancy resource center to refer for abortions, tell patients the “benefits” of abortion, and present abortion as a “legal treatment option.”

S.B.1564 states:

“then the patient shall either be provided the requested healthcare service by others in the facility or be…referred, transferred, or given information…in writing…about other health care providers who [the objecting healthcare provider reasonably believes] may offer the health care service.”

1. S.B. 1564 violates federal law and could jeopardize federal funding.
The fiscal note issued by the Department of Healthcare & Family Services on SB1564 states the following:

“It is unclear if the passage of SB 1564 would jeopardize federal funding for the Illinois Medical Assistance Program. The Church Amendment codified at 42 U.S.C. § 300a-7, stipulates that for healthcare services funded in whole or in part by a program administered by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), no person may be required to “perform or assist in the performance of any sterilization procedure or abortion if his performance or assistance in the performance of such procedure or abortion would be contrary to his religious beliefs or moral convictions.” The requirement in S.B. 1564 that the provider refer individuals to other providers who perform the procedure, especially if abortion or sterilization, violates the Church amendment; such referral could be interpreted as assistance with a morally objectionable procedure.”

Further, in a bipartisan letter to the General Assembly, three Illinois Congressmen urged members to reject S.B. 1564 citing that it violates federal law and could jeopardize federal funding:

“These provisions in actual effect gut the conscience protections currently enshrined in Illinois’ Health Care Right of Conscience Act by forcing objecting physicians and providers to assist and participate in the very treatments precluded by their conscientious or religious objections. More importantly, the provisions stand in stark contrast to the requirements of superseding federal law, including the Church Amendment, the Coats-Snowe Amendment, and the annual Hyde-Weldon Amendment. Moving forward with such legislation at the state level could seriously imperil federal funds for healthcare programs, including reimbursements under Medicare and Medicaid.”

2. Chasing workers away from the healthcare field is a disastrous healthcare policy.
The Heritage Foundation has predicted by 2030, Illinois will have a shortage of an estimated 18,240 nurses and 1,063 physicians. The Illinois Policy Institute and Northwestern University have also highlighted the medical professionals shortage stating, “To make matters worse, half of recent medical graduates are fleeing the state.”

Signing S.B. 1564 into law, would further chase medical professionals from the medical field increasing healthcare costs and decreasing healthcare access for Illinoisans.

In a survey conducted of 2,865 faith-based healthcare professionals, 91% agreed with the statement, “I would rather stop practicing medicine altogether than to be forced to violate my conscience.”

Americans understand the importance of protecting medical professionals’ conscience, and when surveyed, 87% of American adults believed it is important to “make sure that healthcare professionals in America are not forced to participate in procedures and practices to which they have moral objections.”

Illinois needs a more welcoming medical field. Not a more hostile one.

3. S.B. 1564 would increase the number of abortions in Illinois.
For the sixth straight year, abortion numbers in Illinois have declined. This is something we can all celebrate, regardless of whether we are pro-life or pro-choice. Signing S.B. 1564 into law would increase the number of abortions.

4. Pregnancy Resource Centers save the government money.
There are approximately 2,500 PRCs in the United States. In 2010, PRCs served 2.3 million women saving the government approximately $100 million. There are about 100 PRCs in Illinois opposed to about 24 abortion clinics. S.B.1564 would shut down the PRCs, and thousands of women would lose access to basic healthcare needs such as STD and pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, counseling, sex education, parenting classes, material support and much more.

S.B. 1564 would force PRCs to violate the reason they were created: to give women an alternative to abortion. These PRCS would now be forced to be sales centers for abortion clinics.

5. S.B. 1564 is unconstitutional and could subject Illinois to burdensome and costly litigation.
Three law firms in review of this bill have confirmed to Illinois Right to Life, the disastrous effect this bill will have. See two of the analyses here and here.

AUL’s analysis states:

“The Freedom of Speech Clause of the First Amendment includes the right not to speak, or how to address or not address a particular topic, as equally as it protects the right to speak. Several federal courts have specifically struck down requirements that pregnancy centers tell women certain things about abortion or birth control, or that they give the women information about alternative service providers. See, e.g., Centro Tepeyac v. Montgomery County, 5 F. Supp. 3d 745 (D. Md. 2014). After receiving the permanent injunction against the coercive law in Centro Tepeyac, attorney fees were awarded against the government in the amount of $374,999.”

6. S.B. 1564 reduces choices for women.
Women like myself specifically picked my OB/GYN because this doctor is publicly pro-life and will not encourage or pressure me to have an abortion should I become pregnant. That was my choice-and a very important one to me.

S.B. 1564 would remove that choice and would eliminate all doctor offices that are specifically created to serve pro-life women because those doctors would now be required to recommend abortion as a legitimate treatment option. See the link to my article here.

Here’s another woman’s personal story.

7. The healthcare profession requires that doctors adhere to a code of ethics.
The healthcare profession will crumble if it is not built on a code of ethics. Chasing doctors away from the field that are serious about adhering to a code of ethics is disastrous for the healthcare industry. We need more doctors concerned about ethics, not less.

Action: Several pro-life doctors and pregnancy resource centers throughout the state have filed lawsuits over SB 1564. A preliminary injunction has been granted. Litigation continues. See “Lawsuits” for more information.