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Illinois weakens conscience-protection law

August 09, 2016

Planned Parenthood and the ACLU have welcomed changes to the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act that were signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Under the changes, health-care workers who object to procedures such as abortion will be required to provide information to patients about where they can obtain the procedure.The Catholic Conference of Illinois was neutral on the bill-- neither supporting it nor opposing it-- while state pro-life groups opposed it.

“As originally proposed, Senate Bill 1564 would have gutted the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act,” the Conference stated. “Although the original bill had sufficient support for passage in the legislature, the Catholic Conference of Illinois was successful in negotiating removal of the more problematic provisions of the bill.”

The Conference added:

What will be "new" is an information protocol that says when a conscience objection is invoked, the patient's condition, prognosis and treatment options will be discussed. This is already standard medical practice at Catholic healthcare facilities. If the patient insists on a morally objectionable service, a list of healthcare providers without specific reference to any particular service will be given to the patient to seek out different medical consultations. In our opinion, this list does not constitute a direct referral nor does it guarantee an outcome … considering the current realities of politics in our state, we believe that refusing everything but the status quo was going to lead to a much worse result.

 
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Show 2 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: wtchurch5213 - Aug. 11, 2016 10:31 PM ET USA

    Why does this not surprise me that Archbishop Cupich stood on the sidelines and did nothing. He is a coward.

  • Posted by: jacquebquique5708 - Aug. 09, 2016 6:10 PM ET USA

    Sad situation but a pragmatic solution.