Pro-Life Lawsuit against the state of Illinois

Pro-Life Lawsuit against the State of Illinois

NO HB40
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.

Legislation

Illinois Pro-abort Bill:


SJRCA 0004 Equal Rights Amendment 

We 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.   

Please be aware that the supporters of the ERA are visiting our legislators in the district and in Springfield, and they are telling them that the ERA is not connected with abortion.  We need to help our legislators see the truth.  With this in mind, please take some time to educate others, gather together, and schedule a group visit with your state senator and state representative to talk to them about the problems with the ERA.  

We need to help them see the truth, that the ERA has been used successfully in states with state ERAs, and will be used on the federal level to strengthen abortion rights.  The only way to guarantee the federal ERA won't be used to strengthen abortion rights is to write a new ERA that includes a clause that guarantees that "nothing in the article shall be construed to grant or secure any right relating to abortion or the funding thereof."  If it doesn't have that clause, there is no guarantee, and given the facts, we are taking a losing risk with the life of the unborn child.
The laws we need to provide women with equal opportunity are already in place, and if we are lacking in any area, we should write precise laws that will actually benefit us instead of using a broad vague amendment that will cause unintended harm.  If they want an amendment in the Constitution, they need to write a better amendment that won't harm women and the unborn child


Gov. Rauner signed into law HB40, the massive taxpayer funding of abortion bill last month. Now anti-life forces want to pass a the ERA in the General Assembly that would lock in abortion rights in the U.S. Constitution and would cause HB40 type taxpayer funding of abortions in every state in our country and the federal budget. 

Stop the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA)Supporters of the ERA are targeting legislators and threatening to run candidates against them in the upcoming elections if they don't vote for the ERA. 

To counter these tactics, your Illinois state legislators need to hear from you.  They need to hear your continued encouragement for them to vote against the ERA, and they need to know you will support them if they vote no on the ERA.  Please remind them that the poorly worded ERA will harm women, harm our unborn children, and harm our society.
 
THE ERA-ABORTION CONNECTION

The ERA will harm our unborn children by overturning all restrictions on abortions and mandating taxpayer funding for elective medicaid abortions. 

Leading pro-abortion groups – including NARAL, the ACLU, and Planned Parenthood -- have strongly urged state courts to construe state ERAs, containing language virtually identical to the language of the 1972 federal ERA proposal, to invalidate laws that treat abortion differently from other “medical procedures,” including laws restricting tax-funding of abortion and laws requiring parental notification or consent for minors’ abortions.

Consider, for example, the case of New Mexico, which in 1973 adopted a state ERA (“Equality of rights under law shall not be denied on account of the sex of any person”) virtually identical to the federal language that SCR 194/HCR 109 purports to ratify.  In New Mexico, this ERA language was subsequently used as the sole basis for a successful attack the state policy against tax-funding of abortion.  In 1998, every justice on the New Mexico Supreme Court agreed that the state ERA makes it unconstitutional for the state Medicaid program to refuse to fund “medically necessary” abortions (which simply means any abortion performed by a licensed medical professional) if procedures sought by men (e.g., prostate surgery) are funded. The case was NM Right to Choose / NARAL v. Johnson, No. 1999-NMSC-005 – you can read or download it here: http://nrlc.org/uploads/era/ERANewMexicoSupremeCourt.pdf.  (Moreover, similar arguments regarding tax-funding of abortion have been accepted by some courts in other states, including Connecticut.)


The New Mexico Supreme Court based its ruling solely on the state ERA, and the justices merely adopted the construction of the ERA urged upon it in briefs submitted by Planned Parenthood, NARAL, the ACLU, the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, and the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund.  The doctrine that the ERA language invalidates limitations on tax-funded abortion was also supported in briefs filed by the state Women's Bar Association, Public Health Association, and League of Women Voters.

Writing for the unanimous court, Justice Pamela Minzner wrote that “there is no comparable restriction on medically necessary services relating to physical characteristics or conditions that are unique to men. Indeed, we can find no provision in the Department’s regulations that disfavor any comparable, medically necessary procedure unique to the male anatomy . . . .[the restriction on funding abortions] undoubtedly singles out for less favorable treatment a gender-linked condition that is unique to women.”

It should be obvious that this same analysis – that limits specific to abortion are by definition a form of sex discrimination and therefore impermissible under ERA – can be used to invalidate any federal or state restrictions even on partial-birth abortions or third-trimester abortions (since these are sought “only by women”); the federal and state “conscience laws,” which allow government-supported medical facilities and personnel -- including religiously affiliated hospitals -- to refuse to participate in abortions; and parental notification and consent laws.  Indeed, the ACLU “Reproductive Freedom Project” has published a booklet that encourages pro-abortion lawyers to use state ERAs as legal weapons against state parental notification and consent laws.

When questioned about the New Mexico ruling and other such rulings, some ERA proponents reply that the U.S. Supreme Court has previously reviewed abortion-related restrictions under a “privacy right” analysis, and ruled (5-4, in 1980) that this “privacy right” does not invalidate a law (the Hyde Amendment) restricting federal Medicaid funding of abortion.  They go on to assert that the proposed federal ERA would not “change” these past “privacy” rulings.  But this argument is transparently evasive, wholly begging the question.  Obviously, past U.S. Supreme Court rulings on abortion issues have dealt only with the current U.S. Constitution – without the ERA’s absolute prohibition on abridgement of “rights” on the basis of “sex.”  Whatever one thinks of the Supreme Court’s “privacy” doctrine, that doctrine is irrelevant to the question of what legal impact the ERA itself – as a new constitutional provision -- would have on future cases involving abortion-related laws, when ERA-based challenges come before judges.

For additional documentation on the ERA-abortion connection, see the NRLC website at http://www.nrlc.org/federal/era.



Illinois Pro-Life Bill

HB 282 - Abortion Limitations Bill

House Sponsors:
Rep. Barbara Wheeler and Allen Skillicorn

Status:
Re-referred to Rules Committee

Summary:
Amends the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975. Provides that a person may not perform an abortion of a fetus solely because of the fetus's race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, or diagnosis or potential diagnosis of the fetus having Down syndrome or any other disability

Click here for more information on this bill.



Illinois Pro-Life Bill

HB 283 - Ultrasound Opportunity Act

House Sponsors:
Rep. Barbara Wheeler and Allen Skillicorn

Status:
Re-referred to Rules Committee

Summary:
Provides that at any facility where abortions are performed, the physician who is to perform the abortion, the referring physician, or another qualified person working in conjunction with either physician shall offer any woman seeking an abortion after 8 weeks of gestation an opportunity to receive and view an active ultrasound of her unborn child by someone qualified to perform ultrasounds at the facility, or at a facility listed in a listing of local ultrasound providers provided by the facility, prior to the woman having any part of an abortion performed or induced and prior to the administration of any anesthesia or medication in preparation for the abortion.

Click here for more information on this bill.



Illinois - Pro-Life Bill

HB 467 - Amends the Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center Act

House Sponsors:
Rep. Sheri Jesiel


Status:
Re-referred to Rules Committee

Summary:

This bill amends the Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Center Act.  It basically renames abortion clinics to "pregnancy termination specialty center" and now will require unannounced inspections of each pregnancy termination specialty center.

Click here for more information on this bill.



Illinois - Pro-Life Bill

HB 532 - Amends the Illinois Anatomical Gift Act

House Sponsors
Rep. Peter Breen


Status:
Re-referred to Rules Committee

Summary:

This bill is amends the Illinois Anatomical Gift Act and adds the unborn child as a decedent so that no part of the the body cannot sold for any purpose without consent. "Decedent" means a deceased individual and includes stillborn infant or fetus and a deceased fetus or unborn child,

Click here for more information on this bill.



Illinois Pro-Life Bill

SB 78 - Funding Responsibility Act

House Sponsors:
Sen. Kyle McCarter

Status:
Re-referred to Assignments

Summary:
Creates the Public Trust in Funding Responsibility Act. This Act would prohibit a State agency from contracting with or making a grant to any entity that performs abortions or maintains or operates a facility where abortions are performed that involves the expenditure of State funds.

Click here for more information on this bill.