March 13, 2023

Illinois Bills Threaten Pregnancy Resource Centers

photo credit: Mark Turner / Flickr
Legislation being considered by the Illinois House and Senate would allow the state Attorney General to launch investigations against pro-life pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) whenever he feels it is in the "public interest."

HB2463 and SB1909, titled the "Deceptive Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Act" is another attempt by pro-abortion legislators to pass this anti-PRC since they were unable to pass a similar bill before the lame-duck session ended in January.

The bills 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).

"Material fact" is not defined by the bill. Pro-lifers fear that an Attorney General could interpret this to require PRCs to provide information on how to obtain abortions.

Further, the bill empowers the Attorney General to launch investigations whenever he "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." No evidence or complaint is required.

People who have never been clients or patients would also be empowered to file lawsuits against PRCs. The bill does not provide for the recovery of attorney fees when a lawsuit is brought against a PRC in bad faith.

Even before charges are pressed, the legislation allows the Attorney General to request a court order to "impound" records while the investigation continues. The Catholic Conference of Illinois has expressed fears that investigations could be endless, forcing PRCs to close.

If found guilty, PRCs could face fines of $50,000.

Click here to read more.