November 1, 2016

Fight for Free Speech, Conscience Rights Continues in California, Illinois

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), which represents pro-life organizations and individuals targeted by new laws in California and Illinois, filed legal challenges in both states late last week in an ongoing battle to keep the states from forcing the organizations to promote or refer for abortions.

In Illinois, ADF filed a motion for a preliminary injunction Thursday against a change in the state’s Health Care Right of Conscience Act designed to force all medical professionals, along with as many as 130 local pregnancy help centers and medical clinics, to refer their clients to nearby abortion clinics upon request of the patient.

Challenging the Illinois legislation—which was set forth as Senate Bill 1564 and signed into law July 29 by Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner—ADF appealed to state and federal Constitutional free speech protection, as well as Illinois’ Religious Freedom Restoration Act on behalf of two pregnancy help centers and a pro-life ob-gyn who would also be affected by the legislation if it were to go into effect Jan. 1, 2017.

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