Attention, pro-lifers: You are no longer welcome in Illinois.
At least this is the message that Illinois seems to be sending, as it passes laws and enforces policies that force its citizens to promote (and even perform) abortions against their religious and moral beliefs.
1. Illinois passed a law requiring pro-life pregnancy centers and healthcare professionals to advocate for abortion.
Illinois passed a law that requires pro-life pregnancy centers and doctors to refer for abortions and provide women with a list of abortion providers. The law also requires them to tell their patients that abortion is a “treatment option” for pregnancy and has various “benefits.” This is sickening, particularly for those who have dedicated their careers to ending abortion.
Thankfully, in response to two Alliance Defending Freedom lawsuits, both a federal court and a state court have ruled that this law should not be enforced as the lawsuit proceeds.
2. Illinois passed a law forcing taxpayers to fund abortions.
Illinois recently passed another law, which would require taxpayers to fund Medicaid abortions. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed the bill into law last week, even though he claimed earlier this year that he would veto it. The law also guarantees that abortion-on-demand will still be allowed in Illinois, even if Roe v. Wade is overturned.
But abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood, have shown time and again that they cannot be trusted with taxpayer dollars. On top of that, a 2016 poll showed that a majority of Americans oppose taxpayer funding for abortions. No one should be forced to fund an act that takes a life.
3. A county health department in Illinois is trying to force healthcare professionals to perform abortions against their beliefs.
Since 1996, Sandra Mendoza worked for the Winnebago County Health Department as a pediatric nurse. She is a practicing Catholic, and informed her employer that she could not assist or refer for abortions, abortifacient medication, or contraception. Her supervisors had always accommodated her request.
But in 2015, a new director, Dr. Sandra Martell, took over the health department. Dr. Martell decided to cross-train nurses in different areas. And when Ms. Mendoza resubmitted her request to HR regarding her objections, Dr. Martell made the decision that Ms. Mendoza’s beliefs would not be accommodated. Instead, she was offered a part-time seasonal position as a food inspector or as a nurse with a retirement home, neither of which worked for Ms. Mendoza.
Because she was prohibited from practicing consistently with her religious beliefs, and the health department refused to accommodate her, she was unable to continue her employment. She has filed a lawsuit to protect her right to practice medicine according to her religious beliefs – a right Illinois law, and federal law, protects.
No One Should Be Forced into Abortion Advocacy by the State
Alliance Defending Freedom is working to ensure that Illinois does not continue to trample the rights of its pro-life citizens. The government should be working to secure its citizens’ constitutional rights, not forcing them to violate their religious and ethical beliefs. We have also asked the federal government to step in, as Illinois should not be receiving federal funding if it continues to force pro-life healthcare professionals to act against their conscience or religious beliefs.
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