IL Passes Law Violating Doctors’ Religious Convictions Against Abortion

Ending late-term abortionsLawmakers in Illinois have passed legislation that would force pro-life doctors to do abortion referrals.

Senate Bill 1564 has been passed by the Illinois House and Senate. The bill states in no uncertain terms that when a doctor is asked to perform a procedure–such as abortion, for example–that violates his or her religious convictions, the doctor must refer the patient to a physician who will perform the procedure.

In practice, this means a pro-life doctor who considers abortion murder based on his or her deeply-held religious convictions will be forced to refer women to an abortion doctor–despite the objections the pro-life doctor may have to facilitating abortion in any way whatsoever.

Our friends at the Heritage Foundation note the new bill may run afoul of federal law.

Not only would this law violate doctors’ religious objections to abortion; it would also defy federal law.

The Coats-Snowe Amendment requires that federally funded state or local governments not discriminate against health providers because they refuse to perform abortions, provide abortion training, or make referrals for training or abortion.

The Church Amendments state that public officials are not authorized to force individuals to perform abortions or “assist” with them because those individuals receive federal health funds.

Similarly, the Weldon Amendment, a part of every federal appropriations bill since 2005, forbids funding any federal, state, or local agency that discriminates against health care providers because they do not “provide, pay for, provide coverage of, or refer for abortions.”

Consequently, this bill could cost Illinois massive federal funding that it receives in the health care arena.

Unlike this new law in Illinois, Arkansas law generally protects physicians from being forced to perform abortions or abortion referrals.

You can read more about this story here.

Most Americans Think Abortion Ought to Be Illegal in Some or All Cases

According to recent polling by Gallup, a majority of Americans believe abortion ought to be illegal in some or all cases.

Last month Gallup found 19% of Americans believe abortion ought to be illegal under all circumstances and 50% believed abortion ought to be legal only under certain circumstances. Altogether, that represents 69% of American adults.

Additionally, Gallup found more Americans believe abortion is morally wrong than morally acceptable (47% vs. 43%, respectively).

Last year Gallup found an increasing percentage of Americans say they will only vote for a candidate who shares their views on abortion.

These poll findings come as abortion in Arkansas continues to decline. The number of abortions performed in Arkansas fell by more than 500 last year.

Abortions in Arkansas Drop by Over 500 in 2015

On Friday, June 3, the Arkansas Department of Health released a report on the number of abortions performed in the state in 2015. According to the Health Department, the number of abortions in Arkansas fell to 3,771 in 2015—502 fewer abortions than in 2014, and the second-lowest year on record since 1977.

Family Council President Jerry Cox released a statement, saying, “Abortion has been on the decline since the mid-1990’s. Abortion in Arkansas is near historic-lows. This is proof positive the demand for abortion is going down.”

Cox attributed the decline in abortion in part to state laws passed in recent years. “The Arkansas Legislature has consistently passed sound, pro-life legislation. Our lawmakers have worked to make Arkansas a state where innocent, human life is respected from conception until natural death. These declining abortion numbers are the fruits of that labor.”

Cox also credited pregnancy resource centers in Arkansas as contributing to the decline. “Pregnancy resource centers and adoption services help women with unplanned pregnancies choose an option besides abortion. These are excellent organizations providing valuable services to women all over Arkansas, and these numbers show they are having a positive impact on our state.”

Cox said he believes abortion will continue to decline in coming years. “The Arkansas Legislature passed pro-life legislation in 2015 that did not take effect until late last summer. We’re seeing a steady stream of people stepping up to the plate, wanting to do their part to end abortion in Arkansas. Abortion has been following a downward trend for the past twenty years, and I expect that trend to continue.”