Skip to main content
Hero Image

Freedom of Conscience for Healthcare Professionals Upheld in IL, Trampled in CA

By Sarah Kramer posted on:
October 17, 2017

In a dazzling display of government overreach, the states of Illinois and California have demanded that pro-life healthcare professionals promote abortion – the very thing they have dedicated their careers to preventing.

Thankfully, an Illinois state court acknowledged this problem when it ruled that pro-life healthcare professionals and pregnancy centers in Illinois cannot be forced to refer for abortions or to tell pregnant women that abortion has “benefits” and is a “treatment option” for pregnancy.

Unfortunately, healthcare professionals in California were denied the same freedom, when a federal court refused to rehear the case after ruling to uphold a California law last year. The government in California punishes pro-life medical centers with fines if they do not post a disclosure saying that California provides free or low-cost abortion and contraception services.

For our clients, being forced to promote abortion is absolutely unthinkable.

From their pro-life point of view, our clients are looking at two patients when a pregnant woman comes into their office – the mother and her child. And an abortion referral completely disregards the life of their second patient, the child. That’s completely contrary to the oath they take to “do no harm.”

Not to mention that promoting abortion as a “benefit” and a “treatment option” for pregnancy goes against the very mission of a pro-life pregnancy center, dedicated to protecting life.

Pregnancy is not a disease. And as far as “benefits” go, abortion offers nothing to the mother and much less to her unborn child.

The truth is, abortion facilities have received health citations for using expired abortion pills and using unsanitary sponges to clean their instruments. Women also face the physical and psychological harms that accompany abortion. As for the baby, there is no way around the fact that an abortion ends his or her life.

Those don’t sound like benefits to me.

What is truly beneficial to a healthy and thriving society is protecting the freedom of healthcare professionals to practice consistent with their convictions. This, in turn, benefits the patients who wish to choose a medical professional who shares their guiding values.

Thankfully, the court upheld these constitutional freedoms in Illinois. And ADF will continue to fight for the right of healthcare professionals and organizations in California to practice medicine consistent with their beliefs.

Pro-Life Healthcare Professionals Shouldn’t Be Forced into Abortion Advocacy by the State

Alliance Defending Freedom has prepared a legal manual to outline the legal landscape for healthcare freedom of conscience. Download this FREE resource to learn more about the freedoms of medical professionals. If you or someone you know ever runs into a situation at work where rights of conscience are removed, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Get My Free Resource

Sarah Kramer

Sarah Kramer

Digital Content Specialist

Sarah worked as an investigative reporter before joining the Alliance Defending Freedom team.

Religious Freedom

This Church Sued California for Forcing It to Pay for Abortions in Its Healthcare Plan

The State of California began forcing churches to cover abortions in their health insurance plans in 2014.


Not All Messages Are Welcome on D.C. Streets—Only Those the Mayor Favors

The city cannot allow some messages to be permanently painted on their streets and then deny other groups the same right just because it doesn’t like their message.


The American Medical Association Wants to Hide Facts About Abortion from Women

Women have the right to be fully informed about their medical procedures. They should have complete disclosure of the process, the risks, and what’s at stake—especially when it’s a life.