Pro-Life Lawsuit against the state of Illinois

Pro-Life Lawsuit against the State of Illinois

On November 30, 2017, the Thomas More Society filed a taxpayer lawsuit against State of Illinois officials in a counter attack against House Bill 40, which requires public funding of tens of thousands of elective abortions. The taxpayer lawsuit, filed in the Sangamon County Circuit Court, is brought on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Illinois taxpayers, represented by county and statewide pro-life organizations including the Illinois Federation for Right to Life and it's many affiliates.
HB 40 would force every Illinoisan to pay for free abortions for those on Medicaid and state employee health insurance. This would apply through the full nine months of pregnancy and for any reason, even when the latest scientific research has shown that the unborn child can feel pain and survive outside the womb.

The Thomas More society is a not for profit national public interest law firm dedicated to restoring respect in law for life, family, and religious freedom. The Thomas More Society is based in Chicago. Please consider helping the Thomas More Society with your financial support.

July 6, 2012

Crisis pregnancy centers get big legal win


In the latest legal victory for pro-life crisis pregnancy centers nationwide, an appeals court has struck down a Baltimore, Md., law that would have required such facilities to post, in large print outside their doors, a sign saying they don't provide abortions or refer clients to abortion providers.

Crisis pregnancy centers said the signs would have chased women away before they got the help they needed, and they also argued the signs were an unconstitutional violation of free speech.

In a 2-1 ruling June 27, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the centers, upholding an earlier decision by a lower court judge.

In a separate 2-1 decision the same day, the appeals court also struck down a Montgomery County, Md., law requiring that pregnancy centers post a sign with two disclosures: first, stating that a "licensed medical professional" is not on staff, and second, that the "Montgomery County Health Officer encourages women who are or may be pregnant to consult with a licensed health care provider."

The Montgomery County law, the court said, "amounts to an impermissible government control of speech."

"The government-mandated statement, which must be posted 'conspicuously' on a pregnancy center's wall, suggests to potential clients that the center is not to be trusted and that a pregnancy center's services, like religious counseling or job placement assistance, will usually be inferior to those offered by medical professionals," the majority ruled.

"To be sure, Montgomery County is entitled to believe that pregnancy is first and foremost a medical condition, but it may not compel unwilling speakers to express that view."

Last year, a federal judge blocked enforcement of a New York City ordinance that would have required crisis pregnancy centers to post signs saying they don't perform abortions or refer women to abortion providers.

Often supported by churches, crisis pregnancy centers are needed, supporters say, because Planned Parenthood -- the nation's largest abortion provider -- is biased in its counseling and has a financial interest in guiding women to abortions.

The pro-life centers often provide such free services as pregnancy tests, ultrasound exams, prenatal care, childbirth classes, testing for sexually transmitted diseases, post-abortion counseling and material assistance. Abortion clinics typically do not provide many of these services.

The ultrasounds -- which show a woman her unborn baby in detail -- have been particularly helpful in deterring abortions.

The Alliance Defense Fund, a pro-life legal group, was involved with both cases and applauded the rulings.

"Pregnancy centers offer real help and hope to women. They should be free to share that message instead of being compelled to provide the government's preferred message, which sends women elsewhere," said ADF attorney Matt Bowman. "Pregnancy centers provide women with the emotional support and practical resources they need, giving them more choices. They should not be made to speak negatively about the important services they provide."

Contact: Michael Foust
Source: Baptist Press