Thursday, December 22, 2016

Preliminary Injunction Issued Against Illinois Conscience Act Amendments

In Pregnancy Care Center of Rockford, Inc. v. Rauner, (IL Cir. Ct., Dec. 20, 2016), an Illinois state trial court granted a preliminary injunction preventing enforcement against conscientious objectors of recently enacted amendments to the Illinois Healthcare Right of Conscience Act.  According to the court:
While the Conscience Act allows medical care providers to decline to participate in medical procedures to which they have moral objections, the amendments to the Act ... require providers to provide information and referral assistance with respect to a patient's "legal treatment options" as a precondition to invoking the Act's protections.
Invoking intermediate scrutiny of regulation of "professional speech" under the Illinois constitution, the court said that the legislature has imposed an obligation to furnish information only on conscientious objectors.  It goes on:
The Court concludes that plaintiffs have raised a "fair question" about whether SB 1564 unnecessarily burdens their right to be free from government compelled speech to a degree more than necessary to serve the state's interest in educating patients. provides a lengthier analysis of the decision.