Friday, July 21, 2017

Court Enjoins Illinois Law Requiring Referrals Out For Abortions

In National Institute of Family Life Advocates v. Rauner, (ND IL, July 19, 2017), an Illinois federal district court granted a preliminary injunction to plaintiffs, a group of pro-life health care facilities and medical personnel, who object to Illinois SB 1564.  The statute, as a condition of immunity from suit for not performing conscience-infringing health care services, requires objecting personnel to refer the patient elsewhere for the services.  The court, citing other free-expression cases, concluded:
...the amended act under review in this case applies only to health care providers with conscience-based objections to certain legal treatment options such as abortion. Therefore, the court finds that plaintiffs have demonstrated a likelihood of showing that the amended act discriminates against health care providers that are of the point of view that abortion is wrong by compelling only them to speak a message that, from their viewpoint, is abhorrent.
The court issued a preliminary injunction barring enforcement of the statute
to the extent that enforcement would penalize health care facilities, health care personnel, or physicians who object to providing information about health care providers who may offer abortion or who object to describing abortion as a beneficial treatment option.
Christian Post reports on the decision.