Christian crisis pregnancy centers in Chicago are challenging an Illinois law that now forces doctors and nurses to tell pregnant women all their options, including abortion.
The Christian crisis pregnancy centers have filed a lawsuit against state officials, including Gov. Bruce Rauner. The lawsuit says the change in the law violates free speech because the pregnancy centers say giving counsel for abortion is against their beliefs.
Proponents of the law say the change only requires physicians and nurses to inform patients of all their options, which is something that is standard in the medical field.
The law was amended to protect patients who didn’t know all their options. It went into effect in the state on Jan. 1.
"A pro-life physician cannot in good conscience do that," Thomas Olp, an attorney for the Thomas More Society, a nonprofit religious liberty law firm, said.
He added that providing a referral to an abortion provider would be considered by pro-life doctors “material involvement in something that’s inherently evil.”
The clinics, 1st Way Pregnancy Support Services in McHenry County and Pregnancy Aid South Suburbs, and Dr. Ronald Schroeder, a physician who works at various pregnancy centers, filed the lawsuit earlier this year in federal court. The case was transferred to a federal court in Chicago and then to Rockford. It will be consolidated with another lawsuit over the law.
The clinics in the lawsuit are not receiving state or federal funding, Olp said.
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Publication date: July 10, 2017