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Pro-life pregnancy centers, doctors sue Illinois to restore conscience rights

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Dr. Anthony Caruso, Rockford Area Pregnancy Center, Best Care for Women Inc, and Aid for Women Inc have recruited Alliance Defending Freedom to file a lawsuit against Illinois’ recently enacted SB 1564, which requires pro-life doctors and pregnancy centers to promote abortion.

As Live Action News has covered, the law forces medical personnel and pregnancy centers to make abortion referrals and tell clients about the “benefits” of abortion against their conscience; however, it does not specify a list of benefits to be discussed, how precisely they must be presented, or whether a physician can “legally state in his medical opinion that there are no benefits to abortion.”

In its suit, ADF contends that SB 1564 violates the Illinois Constitution’s assurance that “no person shall be denied any civil or political right, privilege or capacity, on account of his religious opinions,” as well as its guarantee of free speech.

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“No state should attempt to rob women of the right to choose a pro-life doctor by forcing pro-life physicians and entities to make or arrange abortion referrals.” ADF Senior Counsel Matt Bowman declared. “What’s even worse is that Illinois did this by amending a law designed specifically to protect freedom of conscience.”

ADF Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot further warned, “If this profane amendment to Illinois’ conscience protection law remains on the books, doctors and medical staff committed to saving all lives will be forced to promote the killing of some children, women will lose access to doctors who unconditionally value human life, and pregnancy resource centers that offer free help and hope to pregnant women will be forced to refer to abortionists.”

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