February 14, 2023

Illinois Bill would Give Attorney General the Power to Investigate and Charge CPCs at-will

Sen Celina Villanueva (D-12)
SB 1909, introduced to the Illinois General Assembly by Sen. Celina Villanueva (D-12), reintroduces provisions targeting crisis pregnancy centers for prosecution.

Titled the "Deceptive Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers Act," this bill would prohibit "a limited services pregnancy center from using or employing any deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, or misrepresentation, or the concealment, suppression, or omission of any material fact" with the intent to "interfere" with a person trying to access abortion or "emergency contraception" (which can act as an abortifacient).

SB1909 would enable the Attorney General to investigate a crisis pregnancy clinic whenever "the Attorney General believes it to be in the public interest that an investigation should be made to ascertain whether a limited services pregnancy center has engaged in, is engaging in, or is about to engage in, any practice declared to be unlawful by the Act."

The bill would also allow "any party aggrieved by a violation of the Act to bring an action against any limited services pregnancy center that has committed such a violation, in which the court may award actual damages and other relief the court deems proper." These damages would be separate from a civil penalty of up to $50,000.

These provisions were initially introduced during last month's lame-duck session as an amendment to HB4664. The Senate amended HB4664 so that its contents were entirely replaced with new policies designed to further pro-abortion goals. The legislative language used last month would have also targeted sidewalk counselors and pro-life protestors. That particular amendment did not make it into the final version of HB4664, but the policy has now returned in the form of a new bill.