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Will Illinois health providers be forced to promote abortion?

ADF attorneys available to media following hearing in lawsuit seeking to halt Gov. Rauner’s enforcement of abortion referral mandate

Tuesday, Dec 6, 2016

Attorney sound bite:  Matt Bowman

WHO:  ADF Senior Counsel Matt Bowman and ADF-allied attorney Noel Sterett

WHAT:  Available for media interviews following hearing in Pregnancy Care Center of Rockford v. Rauner

WHEN:  Wednesday, Dec. 7, immediately following hearing, which begins at 1:30 p.m. CST

WHERE:  Circuit Court of the 17th Judicial Circuit in Winnebago County, 400 W. State St., Rockford

ROCKFORD, Ill. – Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Matt Bowman and ADF-allied attorney Noel Sterett of Mauck & Baker, LLC, will be available for media interviews Wednesday following a state court hearing in a lawsuit filed by an Illinois doctor and two pregnancy care centers against Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner. The medical providers are asking the court to stop the governor from enforcing a new law that forces them to make or arrange abortion referrals while their lawsuit challenging the law’s constitutionality proceeds.

“If this harmful amendment to the Illinois conscience protection law is allowed to remain on the books, doctors and medical staff, who take an oath to ‘do no harm,’ will be coerced into violating that oath,” said ADF Senior Counsel Matt Bowman. “The law demands that they actively provide customers to businesses that profit from killing innocent children. Women will lose access to doctors and health staff who unconditionally value human life, and pregnancy care centers offering free help and hope to pregnant women will be converted into referral agencies for abortionists, or be forced to close.”

The recently enacted law, SB 1565, also compels speech and action in violation of the oaths of health professionals. Specifically…
  • Pro-life doctors and pregnancy centers must tell pregnant women the names of doctors they believe offer abortions.
  • They must tell pregnant women that abortion has unspecified “benefits.”
  • They must tell women that abortion is a “treatment option” for pregnancy.
The lawsuit explains that the law violates pro-life healthcare professionals’ rights under the Illinois Constitution, state statutes, and related court precedents, which expressly protect freedom of conscience and speech.

“Forcing pro-life healthcare professionals to operate as referral agents for the abortion industry in violation of their freedom of conscience is unconstitutional, illegal, and unethical. No state has the authority to force doctors and other medical providers into handing out contact lists for abortionists. Yet, under this new law, that’s the extreme burden imposed under penalty of severe fines,” added Mauck & Baker, LLC, attorney Noel Sterett, co-counsel and one of more than 3,100 private attorneys allied with ADF.
  • Pronunciation guide: Bowman (BOH’-min), Sterett (STAIR’-ett)
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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