Equal Rights Amendment

Equal Rights Amendment Update
We are happy to report that the ERA was not called for a vote this week. Thank you for all your hard work to contact your legislators and reach out to others to engage their help on this important issue. Your efforts combined with divine intervention kept the ERA from moving forward. Your voices were truly heard in Springfield this week!

The resolution to ratify the ERA still remains on the table and can still be voted on, but the Illinois Senate and the Illinois House will not meet again until mid January 2018. Click here for more

July 9, 2015

Health Care Right of Conscience Act - UPDATE

SB1564 = Health Care Right of Conscience Act

Sponsor: Senator Biss.

UPDATE - On the Illinois House Floor today an amendment to SB1564 was called for a vote. The amendment changed the effective date of the bill to June 2016. The purpose of the amendment was to lower the required number of votes to pass the bill from 71 to 60. The amendment passed by a vote of 56 yes, 52 no, and 10 not voting. Usually amendments pass with higher numbers by the sponsor’s peers so this vote sends a troubling message to the sponsor. Although the amendment passed it was immediately announced that several fiscal notes had been requested and therefore SB1564 was placed back on second reading to address the fiscal notes.

This bill amends the Health Care Right of Conscience Act:  provides that notwithstanding any other law, a health care facility, or any physician or health care personnel working in the facility, may refuse to permit, perform, assist in, counsel about, suggest, recommend, refer for, or participate in health care services because of a conscience-based objection.  

This bill now undermines Healthcare Right of Conscience by requiring pro-life facilities to refer pro-abort services to other facilities thus violating their morals or beliefs.

From the bill text:

Amends the Health Care Right of Conscience Act. Makes changes in the Section concerning findings and policy. Defines "access to care and information protocols" and "material information". Provides that notwithstanding any other law, a health care facility, or any physician or health care personnel working in the facility, may refuse to permit, perform, assist in, counsel about, suggest, recommend, refer for, or participate in health care services because of a conscience-based objection only if the refusal occurs in accordance with written access to care and information protocols designed to ensure that (1) the patient receives material information in a timely fashion; and (2) the refusal will not impair the patient's health by causing delay of or inability to access the refused health care service. Provides that nothing in the Act shall be construed to prevent a health care facility from requiring that physicians or health care personnel working in the facility comply with access to care and information protocols.

This amendment requires a written referral to a facility that will complete the refused services including abortion, contraceptives and family planning.

From the bill text:

...a written document that contains the names of and contact information for health care facilities, physicians, or health care personnel that may provide the patient the particular form of health care service refused...

"Health care" is defined as any phase of patient care, including but not limited to, testing; diagnosis; prognosis; ancillary research; instructions; family planningcounsellingreferrals, or any other advice in connection with the use or procurement of contraceptives and sterilization or abortion procedures; medication; or surgery or other care or treatment rendered by a physician or physicians, nurses, paraprofessionals or health care facility, intended for the physical, emotional, and mental well-being of persons...

Although an amendment has been added to bill, the Federation for Right to Life still opposes this bill.

Click here for more information on this bill.

Click here for the full bill text.