April 21, 2023

Anti-PRC Bill Advancing in Illinois House of Representatives

We are asking pro-life advocates to file witness slips against a dangerous piece of legislation that could shut down pro-life pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) throughout the state. The Illinois House of Representatives Health Care Availability & Accessibility Committee announced that it plans to consider SB1909 at a hearing on April 25, 2023. If the bill passes this committee, it will move on to the full Illinois House.

After filling out the form with your information, make sure to click the boxes titled "opponent" to signal opposition to SB1909.

You can write "self" in the "Firm/Business or Agency" field and "Mr.", "Ms.", or "Mrs." in the "Title field.

Finally, click "record of appearance only" to file the witness slip.

After passing SB1909 in the Illinois Senate, pro-abortion legislators are advancing the bill in the Illinois House of Representatives. This legislation, titled the "Deceptive Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers Act," threatens pro-life pregnancy resource centers with legal action for trying to dissuade mothers from choosing abortion.

It appears that the House of Representatives is abandoning HB2463, the original sister bill to SB1909. Instead, the House will simply push the Senate's bill. The Senate passed amendments to SB1909 that softened it somewhat, but pro-life advocates fear the bill might require PRCs to refer women for abortions.

The "Deceptive Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers Act" threatens legal action against PRCs that allegedly use "deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, or misrepresentation, or the concealment, suppression, or omission of any material fact" to persuade women against abortion or offer pregnancy-related services.

Pro-life groups take particular issue with the vague "omission of any material fact" language. "Material fact" is not defined by the bill. If a judge decides that information regarding where a pregnant mother can have an abortion constitutes a "material fact," then a PRC could be convicted for refusing to refer a mother to an abortion business.

April 20, 2023

Biden Admin to Launch National Abortion Referral Hotline

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra
photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Flickr
Last week, the Biden administration's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a "Notice of Funding Opportunity," seeking Title X grantees to launch an abortion referral hotline as part of the Title X program. The HHS expects to provide $1.5 million in grant funding to the recipient who establishes the hotline.

The "Title X Nondirective Options Information, Counseling, and Referrals Hotline" would offer counseling and referrals for abortion, prenatal care and delivery, infant care, adoption, and foster care.

A Title X grant recipient operating the hotline would be expected to "establish and operate a national hotline, develop and maintain a detailed national list of nondirective options referral service sites, and build and maintain a national website to compliment the hotline."

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra issued a press release to coincide with the announcement.

“When the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, nearly half a century of precedent changed overnight,” said Secretary Xavier Becerra. “The Biden-Harris Administration is committed to protecting women’s lawful access to reproductive health care, including abortion care. President Biden signed not one but two executive orders calling on HHS to take action to meet this moment and we have wasted no time in doing so. Today’s action is yet another important step HHS is taking to protect patients accessing critical care.”

Supreme Court Extends Temporary Approval of Abortion Pill

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito
On April 19, Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito issued a ruling to extend the temporary pause against the Fifth Circuit's abortion pill decision.

Last week, the Fifth Circuit issued a ruling in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. Food and Drug Administration. The decision upheld part of a district court's decision suspending the approval of the abortion pill mifepristone. The Fifth Circuit ruled that the FDA could maintain its approval of mifepristone, but it must revert changes made in 2016, 2021, and 2023 that loosened the pill's regulation.

Alito's extension allows the Biden administration to continue its lax regulation of the abortion pill while the Supreme Court considers the case. The extension expires at 11:59 pm on Friday, April 21.

April 19, 2023

Kansas and Arizona Governors Veto Born-Alive Protection Bills

On April 14, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly (D) vetoed a bill that would have offered protection to babies who survive attempted abortions. This follows a similar veto by Arizona Gov. Katie Hobbs (D) one week earlier.

The Kansas bill would have required any child born alive after an attempted abortion to be afforded “the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care provider would render to any other child born alive.”

Additionally, it would have required abortion businesses to transport surviving children to a hospital for emergency care. Abortionists who violate the law would be guilty of a felony.

Pro-lifers are hopeful that the large pro-life majority in Kansas will override Gov. Kelly's veto.

Danielle Underwood, the Kansans for Life Director of Communications, released the following statement
“Legislators from both sides of the aisle stood together to state the simple fact that babies born alive after an attempted abortion should not be left to die on a cold, steel, table. These babies deserve protection and the same medical care as any other newborn of the same gestational age. This once again proves how out of touch Gov. Kelly is with the values of the people of Kansas. We now call on all Kansans to urge their legislators to do the right thing and override Gov. Kelly’s heartless veto.”
Gov. Hobbs's veto in Arizona is much more likely to be the final say on the state's born-alive protection bill. The state legislature only contains a slim pro-life majority.

April 18, 2023

Florida Gov. Signs Heartbeat Protection Act

On April 13, Florida Gov. Ron Desantis signed the Heartbeat Protection Act into law. This law would prohibit abortion in Florida after six weeks with some exceptions. The law received strong support from Florida lawmakers; passing by votes of  26-13 in the Senate and 70-40 in the House.

The new law can't be enforced until the Florida Supreme Court issues its final decision on Florida's current 15-week limit. After Dobbs v. Jackson, the court allowed Florida to enforce the 15-week limit pending a final decision. Pro-lifers are hopeful this is a sign that the court will uphold the 15-week limit. If that law is upheld, the new six-week limit would come into effect 30 days later.

Florida's new law contains exceptions for medical emergencies, rape, incest, or when the child is diagnosed with a fatal condition.

Abortionists or anyone who actively participates in illegal abortions under the new law could be charged with a third-degree felony. This is punishable by up to five years in prison. The charge increases to a second-degree felony if the mother dies during the illegal abortion. This is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

The new law also provides $25 million for pregnancy resources and material support to help families with pregnancy and raising young children. These funds can be used for diapers, formula, cribs, clothing, parenting classes, and other parenting-related expenses.

“We are proud to support life and family in the state of Florida,” Gov. DeSantis said in a press release. “I applaud the Legislature for passing the Heartbeat Protection Act that expands pro-life protections and provides additional resources for young mothers and families.”

The press release continues, “While other states like California and New York have legalized infanticide up until birth, Governor DeSantis has enacted historic measures to defend the dignity of human life and transform Florida into a pro-family state.”

“This is a wonderful day for babies and their mothers in Florida,” said Lynda Bell, president of Florida Right to Life. “Pro-abortion groups lose the debate when they say we don’t care about women because this bill provides over $25 million in support for women and girls in an unexpected pregnancy. We Floridians value unborn children and their mothers.”

April 17, 2023

Supreme Court Temporarily Reinstates FDA Abortion Pill Approval

On April 14, one day after the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld part of a decision suspending the FDA's approval of the abortion pill mifepristone, the US Supreme Court issued an order temporarily reinstating the pill while they consider the case.

The ongoing court battle in Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine v. Food and Drug Administration concerns a group of pro-life groups and physicians who argue that the FDA unlawfully fast-tracked the approval of mifepristone through a process intended for the treatment of life-threatening illnesses. Further, the group argues that the FDA loosened mifepristone regulations improperly by ending a requirement for the abortion industry to report non-fatal adverse events. Afterward, the FDA used the resulting lack of data to claim that mifepristone is safe.

The Fifth Circuit ruled 2-1 that the FDA could maintain its approval of mifepristone, but its decision reverted changes made in 2016, 2021, and 2023 to loosen its regulation. The Fifth Circuit's decision would have left in place the original requirements that the pill only be used up to the seventh week of pregnancy, that pill methods of abortion take place over three doctors visits, that the drug only be dispensed in-person by doctors, and that abortion providers must report non-fatal adverse events.

Justice Samuel Alito granted the Biden administration's request for an emergency stay against the Fifth Circuit's ruling until April 19. He requested an additional briefing by April 18.

Erin Hawley, senior counsel at Alliance Defending Freedom (which is representing the pro-life groups), told CNA that the temporary ruling was expected. Hawley said,
“The entry of a brief administrative stay is standard operating procedure whenever the Supreme Court is asked to consider an emergency request like this one. It gives the court sufficient time to consider the parties’ arguments before ruling. We look forward to explaining why the FDA has not met its heavy burden to pause the parts of the district court’s decision that restore the critical safeguards for women and girls that were unlawfully removed by the FDA.”
While the Supreme Court's order persists, the Biden FDA can continue its lax regulatory standards regarding mifepristone. These allow mifepristone to be prescribed up to the tenth week of pregnancy, prescribed without a doctor's visit, and distributed via mail order.

April 14, 2023

Ohio Pro-Lifers Sue to Split Proposed Amendment into Separate Proposals

Members of Cincinnati Right to Life filed a lawsuit with the Ohio Supreme Court arguing that a pro-abortion amendment being proposed for the November ballot violates the state Constitution's procedures.

The lawsuit filed by Margaret DeBlase and John Giroux argues that the proposed amendment covers multiple issues, but constitutional amendments are limited to single proposals.

As written, the Right to Reproductive Freedom with Protections for Health and Safety amendment would create rights to contraception, fertility treatment, continuing one's own pregnancy, miscarriage care, and abortion.

Curt Hartman, the attorney representing the pro-lifers, told the Daily Signal that the amendment offers, “a laundry list of five different things: contraception, fertility treatment, miscarriage care, abortion, and continuing one’s own pregnancy.” He also told the Daily Signal that, “any proposed constitutional amendment can only propose what [the law] characterize[s] as one proposal.”

Hartman further told the Daily Signal that his clients are, “not trying to keep [the] amendment off the ballot,” but instead asking the Ohio Supreme Court to separate it into multiple amendments.

Supporters of the amendment are currently trying to collect 413,000 signatures before July 5 to place it on Ohio's November ballot.

April 13, 2023

Federal Court Strikes Down California Buffer Zone Law

On March 29, a federal court struck down part of a California law prohibiting pro-life advocates from counseling or protesting on public sidewalks near abortion clinics.

California passed SB 742 under the guise of protecting "vaccination sites." The law impacts speech outside abortion clinics that dispense STD vaccines.

The law outlawed "harassing" patrons of these "vaccination sites." Harassment is defined by the law as approaching within 30 feet of a person or occupied vehicle "for the purpose of passing a leaflet or handbill to, displaying a sign to, or engaging in oral protest, education, or counseling with, that other person in a public way or on a sidewalk area."

These activities are common methods pro-life advocates use to encourage abortion-minded women to choose life for their children. The language was clearly crafted to specifically prevent pro-life speech.

Life Legal filed a federal lawsuit challenging SB 742 on behalf of pro-life sidewalk counselors. In its decision, the court ruled that the prohibition on "harassing" as defined by the law "violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments," noting that "[T]he loss of First Amendment freedoms, for even minimal periods of time, unquestionably constitutes irreparable injury."

"We are pleased that the court emphasized the unconstitutionality of the legislature's shameless abuse of the term 'harassing' to encompass protected speech and activities," said Life Legal's Katie Short, who litigated the case before the court. "At a time when all manner of liberties is in jeopardy, pro-lifers – even in California – can be assured that federal courts have not wholly abandoned fundamental First Amendment principles."

April 12, 2023

Chicago Abortionist Calls Off Ambulance for Hemorrhaging Patient

On Feb 9, 2023, the Carafem abortion business in Chicago, Illinois called 911 to request an ambulance for a hemorrhaging 32-year-old patient. Carafem sent the ambulance away without the patient, but an employee had to call 911 a second time when the patient began hemorrhaging again.

Operation Rescue, an organization that highlights how abortion businesses physically harm women in addition to unborn children, obtained a recording of the 911 calls.

During the second call, a Carafem employee told the dispatcher, "The client is hemorrhaging. The ambulance came and she stopped at the point that they arrived. The doctor didn't think it was necessary for her to go to the hospital, and the moment she got up she started hemorrhaging again."

Hemorrhaging can occur during both surgical and drug-induced abortions. Excessive bleeding during hemorrhage can lead to death. By turning away medical professionals, Carafem put this woman's life at risk.

“This abortion business, like all the others, has shown evidence that it is profit driven and not motivated by patient care,” said Operation Rescue President Troy Newman. “The fact that the abortionist sent the medical care professionals away when this poor woman was suffering from a hemorrhage, possibly a life-threatening emergency, just confirms what we already knew. These abortionists do not care about women, they care about their bottom dollar and their reputation.

April 11, 2023

Biden Denies Tennessee Title X Funds for Not Requiring Abortion Referrals

The Biden administration has decided to withhold millions in family planning grants to Tennessee. Biden's Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is trying to pressure Tennessee to change its abortion policy, which currently does not require doctors to refer patients for abortions that are illegal in the state.

In correspondence between the Biden administration and Tennessee officials, the HHS Office of Population Affairs (OPA) wrote that doctors are expected to refer patients for abortions even if those abortions are illegal in the state the doctor works. "We understand that in some circumstances, those referrals will need to be made out of state," the OPA wrote.

The Chattanooga Times Free Press writes that Tennessee received $7.1 million in fiscal year 2022. Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee proposed budget changes to replace the Title X funds Biden is withholding. This includes $7.5 million in recurring funds and $1.875 million in non-recurring funds for fiscal year 2023.

“The federal government is denying Tennessee funding that has supported critical maternal and family care for thousands of Tennesseans for decades,” Jade Byers, a spokeswoman for Gov. Bill Lee (D), told Live Action News. “As we discuss next steps with the Attorney General’s office, Governor Lee will fulfill his commitment to serving families by proposing to amend the state budget to include state dollars to fill the void caused by the federal government’s decision.”

April 10, 2023

Texas and Washington Judges Issue Conflicting Rulings on FDA Mifepristone Approval

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the US Supreme Court have issued preliminary rulings since this post was written. More information will be on our website on Monday, April 17 (and next week's newsletter).

----original post below----

On April 7, Trump-appointed US District Judge Matthew Kacsmaryk issued a national injunction that would suspend the FDA approval of mifepristone (the first drug used in the abortion pill regimen). Hours later, Obama-appointed US District Judge Thomas Rice issued a conflicting injunction barring the FDA from "altering" the availability of mifepristone in 17 pro-abortion states.

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) filed the lawsuit decided by Kacsmaryk. On behalf of pro-life medical organizations and a group of doctors who say they have prescribed mifepristone to women, ADF argued that the FDA unlawfully fast-tracked the approval of mifepristone through a process intended for the treatment of life-threatening illnesses.

In his decision, Kacsmaryk wrote,
”The court does not second-guess F.D.A.’s decision-making lightly. But here, F.D.A. acquiesced on its legitimate safety concerns — in violation of its statutory duty — based on plainly unsound reasoning and studies that did not support its conclusions. There is also evidence indicating F.D.A. faced significant political pressure to forgo its proposed safety precautions to better advance the political objective of increased ‘access’ to chemical abortion.”
Kacsmaryk also pointed out that the FDA stonewalled the plaintiff's petition for over 20 years.

"The legality of the 2000 Approval is now before this Court. Why did it take two decades for judicial review in federal court? After all, Plaintiffs’ petitions challenging the 2000 Approval date back to the year 2002, right? Simply put, FDA stonewalled judicial review — until now. Before Plaintiffs filed this case, FDA ignored their petitions for over sixteen years, even though the law requires an agency response within “180 days of receipt of the petition.”But FDA waited 4,971 days to adjudicate Plaintiffs’ first petition and 994 days to adjudicate the second. Had FDA responded to Plaintiffs’ petitions within the 360 total days allotted, this case would have been in federal court decades earlier. Instead, FDA postponed and procrastinated for nearly 6,000 days."

Kacsmaryk placed a one-week stay on his injunction, thus providing the Biden administration time to appeal his decision after the Easter weekend.

National Right to Life President Carol Tobias responded to the ruling, “This decision shines a light on something that the Biden Administration wants to sweep under the rug – that these drugs do not treat or cure disease but kill unborn children and expose their mothers to dangerous side effects. The FDA should be in the business of ensuring safety, not in taking lives.”

Mere hours later, Judge Rice issued a separate injunction prohibiting the FDA from "altering" the availability of mifepristone in 17 pro-abortion states and the District of Columbia. Attorneys general from these states are actively suing the FDA to argue that mifepristone is currently too heavily regulated.

The states affected by Rice's injunction include Washington, Oregon, Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

US Attorney General Merrick Garland expressed his intent to appeal Kacsmaryk's decision.

April 7, 2023

Michigan Governor Signs Repeal of 1931 Abortion Ban

On April 5, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation repealing the state's 1931 law which made it a felony to assist in an abortion.

The abortion law was unenforceable after the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, but it should have gone into effect once again after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe. Whitmer and other pro-abortion activists filed lawsuits to block the law from being enforced.

“Today, we are coming together to repeal the extreme 1931 law banning abortion without exceptions for rape or incest and criminalizing nurses and doctors for doing their jobs,” Whitmer said in a press release.
“Standing up for people’s fundamental freedoms is the right thing to do and it’s also just good economics. By getting this done, we will help attract talent and business investment too. I will continue to use every tool in my toolbox to support, protect, and affirm reproductive freedom for every Michigander, and I’ll work with anyone to make Michigan a welcoming beacon of opportunity where anyone can envision a future.”
The idea that society should sacrifice innocent human life for the sake of "economics" or "business investment" is appalling. Human lives are inherently valuable in a way that can't be defined by money.

“Today is a dark day for women in our state and for unborn children nearing birth,” said Right to Life Michigan President Barbara Listing. “Cloaking the elimination of long-standing, common-sense health and safety protections in the mantra of ‘women’s rights’ demonstrates the extreme nature of the Governor’s abortion activism.”

Federal Judge Upholds Indiana Dismemberment Abortion Ban

On March 31, a federal judge ruled that Indiana's 2019 ban on dismemberment abortions can remain in place.

This law prohibited the dilation and evacuation method of abortion. This method involves an abortionist reaching through a mother's cervix with metal instruments to tear the child apart piece by piece. Dismembering the child this way causes the child to bleed to death.

The law's enforcement was blocked before it could take effect in 2019, but Judge Sarah Evans Barker lifted the injunction after the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in the summer of 2022. Court proceedings continued, but the law became enforceable during this time.

Barker's ruling last month rejects the challenge by abortionist Caitlin Bernard. Her argument was based on the "undue burden" standard often used when Roe v. Wade was a standing precedent. Barker granted Bernard 30 days to file an amended complaint under a new legal theory.

Bloomberg Law wrote that this new legal theory claims that "the dilation and evacuation abortion ban violates a person’s 14th Amendment substantive due process right to bodily integrity, at least as it applies to nonelective abortions."

April 6, 2023

Washington Gov Stockpiles Mifepristone as Lawsuit Challenges Pill's FDA Approval

Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee (D)
Pro-abortion Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee used his power to stockpile 30,000 doses of the abortion pill mifepristone in preparation for a possible court decision ordering the FDA to withdraw its approval of the drug.

Inslee directed the Department of Corrections to order the doses using its pharmacy license. The pills arrived in Washington on March 31, costing the state $1.28 million. The University of Washington purchased an additional 10,000 pills.

Inslee ordered the mifepristone to prepare for a potential decision from Texas federal judge Matthew Kacsmaryk, who is overseeing a challenge to the mifepristone's FDA approval.

“This Texas lawsuit is a clear and present danger to patients and providers all across the country,” Inslee said. “Washington will not sit by idly and risk the devastating consequences of inaction. We are not afraid to take action to protect our rights. Washington is a pro-choice state and no Texas judge will order us otherwise.”

Inslee says that the pills will continue to be available in Washington regardless of Kacsmaryk's decision.

The Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine (AHM) filed the lawsuit challenging mifepristone's FDA approval in November of 2022. It represents groups of pro-life doctors from the American College of Pediatricians, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Christian Medical & Dental Associations. AHM's lawsuit accuses the FDA of “illegally approving chemical abortion drugs that harm women and girls.”

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is representing AHM in this case. ADF senior counsel Erik Baptist argued that President Bill Clinton's executive order fast-tracking the FDA approval of mifepristone exploited the approval system. “To add to this problem,” Baptist said, “the FDA did not have any evidence or studies on the potential harms of the drug regimen before approving it.”

April 5, 2023

Maryland to Place Abortion Rights Amendment on 2024 Ballot

photo credit: Rudi Riet / Flickr
On March 30, the Maryland General Assembly voted to place a constitutional amendment creating a right to abortion on the 2024 ballot.

Maryland is a heavily pro-abortion state, and the amendment is expected to pass at the ballot box.

Maryland legislators passed several other pro-abortion bills. One would protect abortionists from extradition to pro-life states if they break they break abortion laws. Another would hide abortion procedures in patient medical records.

Pro-abortion Maryland Gov. Wes Moore (D) has expressed his intent to sign both bills.

Three states have enacted constitutional amendments creating a right to abortion. These are California, Vermont, and Michigan. Connecticut is currently considering an amendment.

April 4, 2023

Alabama Senator Blocks 184 Military Promotions to Protest DOD Abortion Policy

In protest of the Biden Department of Defense (DOD) policy requiring all branches of the military to pay the abortion travel expenses of military members and their dependents, Alabama Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R) blocked nearly 200 promotions for officers and generals.

Tuberville refused to allow the promotions by unanimous consent of the Senate. The promotions could still technically occur, but they would require Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) to bring each of the 184 nominees for individual votes.

“Let’s be clear about what we’re talking about,” Tuberville said on the Senate floor. “We’re not talking about access to abortion. We’re talking about taxpayer funding for travel and extra pay time to get elective abortions.”

“This policy includes spouses and dependents,” the senator continued. “We’re talking about taxpayer funding for somebody’s kids to get an abortion in another state. This has never been in the policy until now because Congress has ensured that the Pentagon cannot perform or facilitate abortions, except in legal circumstances and limited.”

Tuberville told the Senate that he plans to continue to block the promotions by unanimous consent unless the Biden DOD changes its policy on funding abortion travel.

“Over the past 40 years, I don’t recall one military person ever complaining that we weren’t performing enough abortions. I want our military to be the strongest and the deadliest it has ever been but I also want the administration to follow the law,” he said. “As long as I have a voice in this body, Congress will write the laws, not the secretary of defense, not the Joint Chiefs.”

April 3, 2023

West Virginia Gov. Signs Law Providing Funding for PRCs

West Virginia Gov. Jim Jordan signing the Support for Mothers and Babies Act
In stark contrast to the anti-PRC bill currently being considered by the Illinois General Assembly, West Virginia just enacted legislation providing funding to these organizations.

Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) help pregnant women who need assistance. PRCs help these women by providing ultrasounds, financial assistance, parental counseling, baby food, and/or diapers. Most PRCs offer these things free of charge. They function as charities, not businesses (unlike abortion clinics).

West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice signed the Support for Mothers and Babies Act on March 28. Justice held a ceremony for the signing at CrossRoads Pregnancy Center in Charleston.

In addition to funding for PRCs, West Virginia's new law provides adoption incentives for West Virginia families.

“West Virginians elected an overwhelming majority of pro-life legislators to fight for babies, women, and families to be protected from the abortion industry,” West Virginians for Life legislative director Sadie Keaton said. “Thank you to all who fight for our most vulnerable, and work tirelessly to create a culture of life in West Virginia.”

March 31, 2023

Anti-PRC Bill Passes Illinois Senate

This week, the Illinois Senate passed SB1909, otherwise known as the "Deceptive Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers Act." If SB1909 becomes law, it would threaten pro-life pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) throughout the state with legal action.

SB1909 passed out of committee with an amendment on March 29, and the amended bill passed the full Illinois Senate on March 30.

The committee vote was along party lines: 9-4. Pro-life advocates filed 8942 witness slips opposing the bill, while pro-abortion witness slips only totaled 2725. The vote in the full senate was 36-19, also along party lines.

As introduced, SB1909 would penalize PRCs for using "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." Pro-life advocates fear that the bill could be used to penalize pregnancy centers that don't refer women for abortions.

Further, the bill as introduced empowered the Illinois Attorney General to launch investigations into PRCs 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." These investigations could continue endlessly, and they allow courts to seize PRC documents. Given enough time, such investigations could force PRCs to shut their doors.

Even third parties 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.

If found guilty, PRCs would face fines of up to $50,000 per violation.

The amendment passed on March 29 softened the bill somewhat. Language empowering the attorney general to launch investigations whenever he saw fit was removed from the bill. The remainder of the legislation appears to be very similar. We will provide updates as we learn more.

SB1909 has now been sent to the House for consideration. HB2463, SB1909's sister bill that was introduced in the House still contains the original language. The House could choose to push either bill. If the bills passed by the house and senate are different, then the Illinois General Assembly will need to reconcile those differences before sending a bill to pro-abortion Gov. JB Pritzker for signature.

Massachusetts Gov Threatens Pharmacists who Object to Abortion

Pro-abortion Massachusetts Gov. Maura Healy issued a memo to pharmacies in the state on March 22. In it, Healy and the Massachusetts Department of Health threatened legal consequences for any pharmacist “that refuses to stock and/or procure, dispense, and/or fill any valid prescription and/or order for family planning medications, or impedes access in any way to any such medications.”

“Here in Massachusetts, we will always protect access to reproductive care, including abortion,” Governor Healey stated in the memo. “At a time when states are rushing to ban medication abortion and some pharmacies are irresponsibly restricting access to it, we are reminding Massachusetts pharmacies that they have an obligation to provide critical reproductive health medications, including Mifepristone. It’s safe, effective, and legal.”

Regulations from the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Pharmacy require "all Massachusetts licensed pharmacies or pharmacy departments to 'maintain on the premises at all times a sufficient variety and supply of medicinal chemicals and preparations which are necessary to compound and dispense commonly prescribed medications in accordance with the usual needs of the community.'"

Gov. Healy's administration is interpreting the regulation to include abortion-inducing drugs as "necessary to meet the usual needs of the community." This includes mifepristone, misoprostol, emergency contraception, and contraceptive prescriptions.

Healy's interpretation clearly interferes with the conscience rights of pharmacists. Abortion ends the life of an innocent child. A pharmacist that objects to abortion should not be required to participate in it.

Mifepristone is the first drug in the abortion pill regimen. It kills an unborn child by inhibiting the flow of oxygen and nutrients to a child. Misoprostol is taken after the child has died by asphyxiation or starvation to induce labor and remove the dead child from the mother's womb.

"Emergency contraception" such as Plan B has the potential to cause abortion as well. Contraceptive methods taken after sex can end a pregnancy by preventing a fertilized embryo from implanting in the mother's womb. Because a child is alive from the moment of fertilization, a drug that prevents that child from implanting in the mother's womb can cause the death of an innocent child.

March 30, 2023

Residents Fight Back after Abortion Business Purchases Danville Property

photo from Mark Lee Dickson
Local residents of Danville, Illinois are working to stop abortion from coming to their town after an Indiana abortionist purchased property there.

Ladonna Prince, the administrator for an Indianapolis abortion business named "Clinic for Women" was recently found to have purchased a property for a new location in Danville, Illinois. This location is six miles from the Indiana border. Prince would likely use it to circumvent Indiana's pro-life laws.

The Sanctuary Cities For the Unborn initiative is helping Danville residents draft an ordinance that would prevent the clinic from opening.

On March 27, members of the Illinois House of Representatives Freedom Caucus met with residents and held a press conference across the street from the planned abortion facility. Attending members included Representatives Chris Miller (R-Oakland), Adam Niemerg (R-Dieterich), Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville), and Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur).

At the press conference, Rep. Miller said, “Women from 31 different states had abortions in Illinois last year. We are rapidly becoming the baby-killing capital of the Midwest. We’re just not allowing killing babies. We are now at the place where we are celebrating it.”

Rep. Niemerg told the press,
“The people of Danville don’t want this abortion clinic in their community. My office has received numerous phone calls from people upset by what’s happening in their own backyard. There seems to be a sinister effort to bring abortion clinics to parts of Illinois that are overwhelmingly pro-life, just to make some sort of point. The far-left has moved far beyond merely making abortion legal. They have become abortion advocates.”

Mark Lee Dickson, Founder of the Sanctuary Cities for the Unborn Initiative, also spoke at the conference. "Ladonna Prince in Indianapolis, Indiana wants to set up here in this city," Dickson said. "Well, the voice of this city is loud and they're saying, 'Not on our watch.'"

Click here to read more.