Illinois Rid Of Crackdown On Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers

A law targeting crisis pregnancy centers in Illinois will not see the light of day after the state has agreed to not enforce it. The measure, dubbed SB 1909, was temporarily blocked by a federal judge in August. It wasn’t until Monday that Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul agreed to back off the planned crackdown.

SB 1909 aimed to empower Illinois’ attorney general to investigate allegations of consumer fraud and deceptive business practices against crisis pregnancy centers who discourage women from having an abortion by pointing out the dangers and disadvantages.

When blocking the law from going into effect, U.S. District Judge Iain D. Johnston called it a painful and blatant “violation of the First Amendment.”

“There’s no doubt who the Attorney General wants to win or lose in the market place of ideas, but the government doesn’t get to decide that. The people do,” he said.

Raoul, however, remains committed to “reproductive freedom,” as he promised not to stop his efforts to help women “access the full range of reproductive health services.”

“Patients in Illinois can be assured that as states continue to enact draconian restrictions on access to reproductive health care, I will not waver in my efforts to ensure that Illinois remains an oasis of reproductive freedom in the middle of our nation,” he said.

The law was initially signed by Democratic Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker earlier this year. However, a coalition of pro-life organizations sued the state, asking for the “unconstitutional law to be struck down.”

The pro-life organizations include the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), the Pro-Life Action League, the Women’s Help Services and multiple crisis pregnancy centers.

After the law was blocked, Thomas Glessner, the founder and president of NIFLA expressed happiness on behalf of the groups, saying, “We are elated that a permanent injunction has been issued against Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and SB 1909, which ensures this unconstitutional law will never go into effect.”

Glessner then condemned SB 1909 as “an absolute weaponization of government that unfairly and unconstitutionally targeted pregnancy centers simply because they refused to refer for or perform abortions.”

Glessner further warned against future attempts to pass and enforce such laws that go after organizations with a noble mission of helping women and their families.

In his words, “Let this be a stern example of what awaits those who attempt to pass and enforce similar laws — look to Illinois and save taxpayer dollars for actually helping their communities instead of going after organizations that help women and their families.”