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I strongly oppose Senate Bill 1564 as it would force Illinois doctors, nurses, pharmacists, and pregnancy help centers to directly violate their conscience by referring patients for abortion. No Illinoisan should be forced to participate in a medical procedure he or she believes will directly harm human life.

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SB 1564 – Detrimental to Healthcare Providers and Patients

SB 1564, as amended by Senate Amendment 3, undermines the conscience protections of healthcare providers inviting intimidation and legal action against pro-life healthcare providers and threatening the core mission of pregnancy resource centers that offer women alternatives to abortion.

URGENT UPDATE: 7/29/2016 – SB1564 was signed into law by Governor Rauner. The law will go into affect on January 1, 2016.

If you are a doctor, nurse, pharmacist, or pregnancy resource center in Illinois, this bill may affect you. Find out how and get more information on SB 1564 here


A new fiscal note was add to SB1564 from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. It reads:

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 SB 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.

Is this bill worth losing federal funding over?

According to the pro-abortion organization, Personal PAC: “The bill requires providers to notify patients in advance of their objections and to give a referral to a provider who will provide the requested service.” Under current Illinois law, healthcare providers, including pro-life pregnancy centers, are able to opt-out of participating in or referring for legal medical services, such as abortion, that they find morally objectionable.

That freedom is under attack.

SB 1564, as amended by Senate Amendment No. 3, would undo the strong conscience protections for health care providers that Illinois currently has in place. The bill would require providers to tell patients about “legal treatment options” and “benefits of treatment options.”  In addition, all providers who do not provide the service requested by a patient must refer, transfer or provide in writing a list of facilities where the provider “reasonably believes” the patient will be able to obtain the service.

In other words, every doctor, pharmacist and pro-life pregnancy center in the state will have to help a woman obtain an abortion whenever asked.


If you or someone you know, works for a pregnancy center, is a physician or other healthcare provider and would like more information on how this bill will directly affect you and how you can help stop it, please contact Illinois Right to Life at 312-422-9300 or [email protected].

Background: AUL Statement on IL SB 1564 v3