UPDATE: PIC has been granted an injunction from a federal judge.
SB 1564 (NOW PUBLIC ACT 99-690)
Today we find ourselves sharing some very difficult news that will impact our community. If you have been following along with our updates on this bill, you’ll know that the Senate Bill was passed in June of 2015 and went into effect January 1, 2017. The bill amends the state’s Health Care Right of Conscience Act and mandates that, upon request, all healthcare providers within Illinois must provide patients with a written referral, or transportation, to an organization that provides abortions. It also states that we are required to share the “benefits” of an abortion with patients. Across our state, ethically-based medical providers are being forced with a terrible decision: Operate medically, and refer for abortion, operate illegally by continuing to practice without referring, or halt medical services (thereby operating legally, and not referring.)
WILL PIC REFER FOR ABORTIONS?
Simply put, no! As a Christian organization, we are called to protect life - not participate in destroying what God has created. We do not believe there are any benefits in taking the innocent life of a child.
Since this law went into effect, we have chosen to temporarily limit the services that we can ethically provide. Although we are able to continue providing education classes and baby supplies to current and new clients, we have chosen to pause intake of new medical clients during this time. For everyone here, this has been very disappointing, but we have chosen this course of action because we believe that it is the only way to protect both our integrity and our future as a center. God sees a much bigger picture and we must trust in his guidance and direction. We also have no doubt that our supporters will help us fight this unconstitutional law and will support and pray for us through this process.
SO WHAT ARE WE DOING?
We have been busy on our end praying, researching, and seeking legal counsel on how to approach this issue so that the benefits are long term. In December 2016, an injunction was granted for two other pregnancy medical centers in Illinois. Initially, we were informed that we would also be protected under that injunction, but found out later that the judge denied this. We immediately started the process of filing our own lawsuit, listing each individual center that wished to be protected. PIC has combined forces with 18 other Pregnancy Medical Centers and several pro-life doctors statewide to file a separate lawsuit against the State of Illinois for violating our constitutional right to perform our medical services according to our faith. (Read more about the PIC lawsuit HERE). Since the December injunction was won, we believe it has set a precedence and can confidently anticipate that our injunction will also be swiftly granted. When it is, we will then be protected under pre-SB 1564 law and will immediately begin providing all of our medical services without risk of penalty. We are not simply seeking something temporary, but are striving to repeal this law completely because we want to protect lives that are at stake now and in the future.
It's worth noting that similar laws are currently being fought all around the US. Within the past few weeks three more states (AK, HI and CT) have also been hit with a similar law. Our life-partners in other states are closely watching and praying that Illinois lawyers will prevail in our case and set a precedent across the nation.
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
We wish that we could say that we have a perfect solution, but at this moment we do not. This decision breaks our hearts and we know that each day we do not practice it puts lives on the line. We also hold in balance the fact that if we do not stand in integrity, we risk the entire future of our mission. As we fight in a war for the life of the innocent, some battles are particularly difficult, but we can see a vision that is more powerful than this temporary setback. Faith is defined by A.W. Tozer as the “gaze of the soul upon a saving God.” We will continue to place our faith firmly with our God who is mighty, powerful, and near. Here is how YOU can help:
PRAY and then PRAY again! (Pray for the judges, lawyers, pro-life centers & doctors in Illinois, and most importantly pray for pregnancies at risk.)
Contact your State and House Representatives! Send them a non-threatening email letting them know you are praying for them and encourage them to oppose bills like SB 1564 and HB 40. (Click HERE to find your representatives)
Financially support PIC. While we are busy fighting for our rights, we are still helping pregnant moms and dads with parenting classes and material needs. In addition to our regular responsibilities, we are doing extra work behind the scenes to stay informed and prepare for this pending lawsuit. We need your support now, more than ever!
We will continue to update you as we learn new details on our lawsuit, so be on the lookout for further communication from us!