NRL News

“Outrageous “attack on Women-Helping Centers continues

by | Mar 30, 2023

By Dave Andrusko

Personally, I’d rather a reporter be upfront with the objective of her story, say in the headline, than feign objectivity. And to her credit, that’s what Mawa Iqbal does: “Illinois Democratic lawmakers want to crack down on ‘crisis pregnancy centers.’”

This story is about women-helping centers in Illinois. Eliminated parental involvement and passed the radically pro-abortion “Patient and Provider Protection Act” has only whetted their appetite. Democrats want to cripple the true alternative to abortion.

Empower Life Center, founded in 2000 and run by the Peoria Rescue Ministries, is a crisis pregnancy center (CPC),” Iqbal writes

Illinois is home to nearly 100 centers, usually nonprofit Christian-based facilities offering ultrasounds, pregnancy testing and STI medication.

But these centers do not offer abortion services, medication or contraceptives — nor do they refer patients for these services.

And some state Democratic lawmakers say many of these enters use deceptive tactics to steer patients away from abortion-related services.

In a separate story, Cassy Fiano-Chesser writes about “Outrageous Illinois bills would allow ‘witch hunts’ against pregnancy centers.”

Two Illinois bills are taking aim at life-affirming pregnancy resource centers (PRCs), allowing state investigations to be launched under mere suspicion of undefined ‘deception’ or wrongdoing, even if no violations have been reported.

HB 2463, or the Deceptive Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers Act, asserts that these centers offering free services to women and families should be investigated if it even appears they were about to engage in any so-called and undefined “deceptive practice.” Under this as well as its sister bill, SB 1909, PRCs could face a $50,000 fine for spreading so-called “deceptive” information or engaging in “deceptive” practices, or concealing, suppressing, or omitting any kind of “material fact.”

Specifically, State Rep. Terra Costa Howard, D-Glen Ellyn, and Sen. Celina Vilanueva, D-Chicago “have introduced their own versions of legislation that would allow patients to sue if they believe a center deceived them,” Iqbal writes. “Specifically, if a center was found to have concealed or misrepresented facts with the intent ‘to interfere with an individual seeking to gain entry or access to a provider of abortion or emergency contraceptive.’ The bill would also allow a court to impose a penalty of up to $50,000 on a center. However, neither bills have reached the House or Senate floors for a full vote yet.” [underlining added]

Of course, this is wholly subjective, a witch hunt fully funded by the states with the intention of putting these pregnancy help centers out of business. Not that would be a speed bump to these characters, but this already reached the Supreme Court.

Fiano-Chesser writes

PRCs [pregnancy resource centers] have already won in court, with NIFLA v. Becerra. The 2018 Supreme Court case found that individual states cannot force PRCs to promote or refer for abortion; nor can they punish or target PRCs because of their pro-life views. Should Illinois lawmakers proceed with this legislation, it will likely be in violation of NIFLA, potentially paving the way for more court battles in the future.

And there has been real opposition to this heavy-handed legislation.

Currently, more than 2,300 people filed slips with the General Assembly in favor of one of the bills, and nearly 8,500 people against – among the filers in objection are numerous CPCs from all over the state. Last week thousands of anti-abortion advocates packed the streets outside the capitol for a rally to protest the two bills.

“It is an attempt to force pregnancy health centers to cooperate with abortions, to go against their freedom of speech and their freedom of religion,” said Anna Kinskey, executive director of weDignify, an anti-abortion student mentoring group based out of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. “For the attorney general to persecute them and profit off of them. The thousands of people here are not going to let that stand.”

Categories: State Legislation