Illinois came one step closer to forcing its pro-life medical community to choose between violating state law and violating deeply held religious conscience Wednesday, as the state’s House approved Senate Bill 1564 and set the legislation on the governor’s desk.
The bill, which would introduce decisive changes to Illinois’ Health Care Right of Conscience Act, passed by a 61-54 margin and now awaits the signature of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Originally put forward in the summer of 2015, the legislation would require pro-life medical providers, including 51 Illinois nonprofit pregnancy centers offering free services including ultrasound and STI testing, to take action the bill’s opponents say amounts to participating in an abortion.
Particularly at issue is the bill’s requirement that every Illinois pro-life medical provider of any kind who chooses not to perform a procedure such as abortion or a prescription for birth control has one of three options: Either they must “refer the patient” to another provider, “transfer the patient” to another provider, or provide a list of “other health care providers who they reasonably believe may offer the health care service.”
One way or another, the law would compel pro-life medical providers in Illinois to participate in abortions.
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