PIC and pregnancy centers across Illinois are celebrating today as we have just received word that a preliminary injunction has been granted us by a federal judge! In July of last year, Illinois State lawmakers passed “SB1564”, an amendment to the Illinois Healthcare Right of Conscience Act that forces healthcare providers to refer patients for abortion. The law went into effect on January 1st, and while our lawyers were working quickly to move lawsuits against the bill through the lower courts, PIC announced with much dismay, that we would be forced to pause medical services (such as pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and STD/STI testing) until an injunction could be granted. For the past 6 months, we have been working furiously as a staff to continue supporting our community and saving lives in the face of this setback.
As of today, we are excited to announce that beginning next week, we will begin offering life-saving medical services once again! We are so thankful for your prayers and support during this time. We know that the Lord is faithful, and will continue to provide for PIC as we fight against those who seek to cease or silence the value of life in our world. With over 350,000 abortions committed every year in the US, and over 27,000 of those occurring in our own state, we know the fight is not over.
You can read the full press release from Mauck & Baker below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Inquiries Contact
Mauck & Baker Attorney
Noel W. Sterett, Esq.
Pregnancy Centers Win Second Injunction against Illinois Abortion Referral Mandate
CHICAGO- Yesterday a Federal District Court granted the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) and several pro-life pregnancy centers a preliminary injunction against an Illinois law that forces pro-life healthcare professionals to make abortion referrals. The injunction prohibits the State from enforcing the law against healthcare facilities or physicians who have a conscience objection to performing abortions or making abortion referrals.
In 2016, Illinois amended its Healthcare Right of Conscience Act to require pro-life doctors and medical staff to provide referrals to abortion clinics and to speak of the "benefits" of abortion as a treatment option. Late last year, another group of pregnancy centers obtained an injunction in state court. In its opinion, the state court questioned as to why Illinois would require the very individuals who object to abortion services to become a source of information about them. In yesterday's order, the federal court wrote, "It is clear that the amended act targets the free speech rights of people who have a specific viewpoint." The federal court preliminary injunction broadly protects all "healthcare 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."
Attorney Noel W. Sterett, who represents the Life Center, Inc. and is co-counseling on the case with the Alliance Defending Freedom, said, "The government has no business forcing pro-life doctors and pregnancy care centers in Illinois to operate as referral agents for the abortion industry. A law that targets medical professionals because of their pro-life views and right of conscience is unconstitutional and unethical."
Mauck & Baker LLC attorney Noel Sterett is one of more than 3,100 private attorneys allied with Alliance Defending Freedom.
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