Saturday, October 01, 2016

Constitutional Challenge Filed To Illinois Limits on Conscientious Objection By Doctors

A suit was filed this week in an Illinois federal district court by several pro-life pregnancy centers challenging the constitutionality recently enacted amendments to Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act. (See prior posting.)  The new amendments require doctors and health care facilities to inform patients of all health care options and, if the patient requests an option to which the physician has conscientious objections, the physician must refer or transfer the patient elsewhere for the procedure. The complaint (full text) in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Rauner, (ND IL, filed 9/29/2016), alleges that the amendments violate their religious freedom rights and require them to engage in compelled speech:
It would violate the religious and moral beliefs and conscience of Plaintiffs and their staff to comply with SB 1564 § 6.1(1)’s requirement that for every pregnant woman they treat, they must “inform” her that abortion as a “legal treatment option,” and that they must describe “benefits” of abortion that they disagree with.
ADF issued a press release announcing the filing of the lawsuit.