Pro-Life Lawsuit against the state of Illinois Dismissed

UPDATE: Pro-Life Lawsuit against the State of Illinois Dismissal Appealed

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 was dismissed by Associate Circuit Judge Jennifer Ascher. A notice of appeal was entered on January 2nd, in the 4th Appelate Court.

December 11, 2017

We are up against an opponent that is in control of the Illinois General Assembly

Governor Raune
“Evil never has the last word. That belongs to God…”
Franklin Graham, Decision Magazine
November 2017

On September 28, 2017 Governor Rauner signed House Bill 40 (HB40) into law.   This bill entitled, “Abortion-Various” (because of its broad reach) is now Public Act (PA) 100-0538. PA 100-0538 forces taxpayers to fund abortions for Medicaid eligible women and female state employees eligible for State of Illinois insurance coverage.   I am certain that all of you reading this letter are painfully aware of the history and terrible impact of HB40. 
Most of you know Governor Rauner publicly announced he would veto HD40.  But he signed it.  The Governor did not keep his word to Illinois taxpayers, the Catholic Church, the voters of Illinois and to Republicans in the General Assembly. 

“Let no one deceive you with empty words.”
Paul, Apostle

It was not the first time he did not tell the truth.

Candidate Bruce Rauner told pro-life leaders that although, he is not pro-life he did not intend to pursue a social agenda.  His focus would be on the financial situation in the State of Illinois.  There were some that believed him.  There were some that trusted him.  Not the Illinois Federation for Right to Life (IFRL).  We are a single-issue organization.  He opposed our issue.  That was all we needed to know about candidate Rauner.
On July 29, 2016 Governor Rauner signed Senate Bill 1564, the Health Care Right of Conscience Act.  The Act (now PA 99-0680) mandates that medical staff of pregnancy resource centers in Illinois must provide an abortion referral to a “patient” wishing to have an abortion. There are lawsuits pending in state and federal courts challenging the constitutionality of this law.  The law has been enjoined by the court preventing it from going into effect during the pendency of the litigation. This is a good sign because the court must first determine that it is likely that the plaintiffs (the centers) will win in order to grant an injunction. 
SB1564 violates the right of conscious of the pregnancy center workers.  It violates their religious liberty.  It violates their freedom of speech.  But our “social agenda neutral” Governor signed it.  In any event, after signing SB1564 it should not have surprised anyone that despite his “word” he signed HB40.

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice;
But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.”
King Solomon

And the battle continues.  Senate Joint Resolution Constitutional Amendment 4, the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) remains in the Senate and will likely be called for a vote during the 2018 Spring Session that begins in January. We have discussed the ERA in our past letters. (If you need more information please visit our blog at   Here is what you need to know right now. 
We were concerned that the ERA would be called for a vote during the Fall Veto Session in October and November.  We were very busy lobbying. Elise Bouc of “Stop the ERA” joined us in Springfield and was very effective. Illinois Right to Life and IFRL sent thousands of robo calls into targeted House districts and one Senate district. The districts chosen were those of pro-life legislators who were uncertain of their vote on the ERA. Some of them stated that they did not see a connection between the ERA and abortion.  Some of them had voted against the ERA in the past but were undecided now. Some of them were not running for office again or were retiring and that seemed to make a difference in their vote. 

The House Districts (HD) were: HD 37-Margo McDermed; HD41-Grant Wehrli; HD53-David Harris; HD65-Steven Andersson; HD70-Robert Pritchard; HD75-David Welter; HD79-Lindsay Parkhurst; HD81-David Olsen; HD96-Sue Scherer; HD99-Sara Wojcicki Jimenez; HD104-Chad Hays and HD105-Dan Brady.  The ERA requires a supermajority to pass.  We have successfully stopped it in the House because the supporters could not secure 76 yes votes.  The new uncertainty of the pro-life representatives made our success questionable.  
However, due to your contact with your representatives the ERA was not called for a vote during the veto session. Thank you so much for helping us!  The supporters could not be sure they had 76 votes.  Your calls had an impact on the representatives and changed minds.

“No weapon against you shall prosper…”
Isaiah, Prophet

We are up against an opponent that is in control of the Illinois General Assembly.  They have more money and the support of individuals in powerful positions.  We are surrounded by the enemy.  They see us as small and weak.     

I am sure you know of the story of a young shepherd boy. The baby of the family. A very unlikely hero.  And yet he slew a giant and the army of the enemy was defeated.  How was he able to do it with only a slingshot and one smooth stone?  He was small and weak when compared to the huge army with a powerful leader.  He won because of what he believed. 

“…I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts…
“…this assembly shall know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear;
for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”
David, Shepherd Boy

In the Spring Session we will need your help again.  Surely there will be attempt to pass the ERA and other pro-abortion legislation.  Your help will be crucial as we continue to fight at the Illinois General Assembly to stop laws that kill unborn babies.  We believe that this is what we must do because it is a righteous cause.  We believe that you agree with us and are with us in spirit as we speak with the legislators and walk the halls of the Capitol.  We are grateful for your support and faithfulness.  Please continue to give generously so that together we can put an end to this terrible evil.  

“My secret is simple…I pray.”
Mother Teresa

We will win because we pray.  We pray that God will grant us victory.  We pray for you.  We believe that you are praying with us and for us. We must pray for our Governor. We pray for our legislators. (See our blog for Let’s Pray! with Vision 2020).

    And we will prevail!

“…with God all things are possible.”
Jesus, Lord

And that is the last word.

        For Life,

       Dawn Behnke
       President, IFRL