SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Senate approves measure to crack down on ‘crisis pregnancy centers’

By ANDREW ADAMS  
& NIKA SCHOONOVER   
Capitol News Illinois 
news@capitolnewsillinois.com 

SPRINGFIELD – A rush of legislation passed before a Friday deadline in the Senate included proposals aimed at protecting those seeking reproductive health care in Illinois.  

The first of these proposals, Senate Bill 1909, would give the state’s attorney general explicit authority to crack down on “limited services pregnancy centers,” which are also known as crisis pregnancy centers, or CPCs.  

The bill, which was pushed by the attorney general’s office, bars CPCs from engaging in “unfair methods of competition” or “deceptive acts or practices.”  

The proposal passed on a partisan 36-19 vote after heated debate.  

Crisis pregnancy centers are a type of facility that offer services to expectant parents which may include counseling, aid such as free diapers or limited medical services such as ultrasounds. They are often non-profits associated with national or local groups that oppose abortion.  

CPCs are the subject of ongoing national debate because they sometimes divert women seeking abortions from receiving them.   

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists has recommended that state funds in general should not be used to support these organizations. It also recommended states should strengthen consumer protection laws against false or misleading advertising to hold the industry’s more nefarious actors accountable. 

“Patients report being misled into going to crisis pregnancy centers – sometimes even receiving exams and ultrasounds – thinking they were visiting another clinic that offers the full range of reproductive care. This is an extreme violation of trust and patient privacy that should not occur in our state,” Attorney General Kwame Raoul said in a news release earlier this week. 

The Crisis Pregnancy Center Map, a project of professors Andrea Swartzendruber and Danielle Lambert of the University of Georgia’s Department of Public Health, identifies 97 CPCs in Illinois. The Guttmacher Institute, an abortion-rights focused research group, found that in 2017 there were 40 abortion providers in Illinois.  

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Celina Villanueva, D-Chicago, said it clarifies existing powers of the office of the attorney general, which already has authority to prosecute consumer fraud. Opponents criticized the bill on that front, saying it gave the attorney general too much authority.  

“We’re going to have the same entity making the rules, deciding what the fines are, and then collecting those into their own coffers,” said Sen. Terri Bryant, R-Murphysboro. “I don’t know any other circumstances that we do that in.”  

Sen. Jil Tracy, R-Quincy, suggested the measure could be used to prevent volunteers at CPCs from sharing their religious beliefs on abortion.  

“And this overreach just goes to the point that if you don’t believe the way the majority party believes in this state you’re wrong and we’re going to go after you,” she said.  

Villanueva said the bill is not intended to punish providers of obstetrical or gynecological care “simply because they do not perform abortions.”  

“Health care providers will not be subject to enforcement under this bill, as long as they do not employ fraud, deception and misleading practices to interfere with or prevent another from accessing comprehensive reproductive health care,” she said.  

The bill has drawn criticism from outside the legislature as well. 

At an anti-abortion rally in front of the Capitol last week, Bishop Thomas John Paprocki of the Springfield Diocese encouraged protestors to continue to fight against abortion measures in the state.  

“Every year, over 10,000 out-of-state residents now come to Illinois for abortion, often at taxpayer expense. And that number has been increasing dramatically since June of 2022, when Dobbs was decided,” said Paprocki said. “In states such as ours, we cannot relax our pro-life efforts now that Roe v. Wade has been overturned.”  

Others have already promised to fight the bill in court.  

“This bill is flagrantly unconstitutional, and if it becomes law, we will immediately file suit to protect pro-life organizations’ right to free speech,” Peter Breen, the head of litigation for the Thomas More Society, said in a statement Friday morning. 

Illinois has passed several laws protecting abortions in recent years, including making it a right under state statute. They’ve all faced similar Republican opposition as the measures that passed with only Democratic support this week.  

Another of those measures was Senate Bill 1344, which would ensure that insurance providers cover medication abortion, hormonal therapy and HIV medication. It passed the chamber Friday on partisan lines.  

The bill would also exempt reports from the Abortion Care Clinical Training program from being subject to the Freedom of Information Act. The program, established last year, gives grants to fund abortion training programs at community-based provider sites.  

Villanueva sponsored that bill as well, noting the exemption clarifies existing law and keeps program participants safe.  

“We already know that reproductive rights providers have been under attack, have been harassed have been abused, and in some cases murdered,” Villanueva said. “So when we strive to clarify laws in the state of Illinois in order to make sure that people are not put under duress in a situation or harassed…We’re trying to protect people which was the original intent of the original bill.” 

Senate Minority Leader John Curran, R-Downers Grove, said the governor’s office already has administrative rulemaking authority to “exempt any sort of information that could pose … a threat of any sort to someone.”  

“The reality is, we already have the authority on that point,” Curran said. “It’s up to the governor to act. The governor, for three months, has not acted on this point.” 

The Senate also passed Senate Bill 1907, which would require state colleges and universities to provide “wellness kiosks.” These would be vending machines to provide wellness products with the explicit requirement that emergency contraception be among the items offered. This is also sometimes known as the morning after pill or Plan B.  

The bill, also sponsored by Villanueva, passed 38-19 on Thursday. Republicans criticized it, with Tracy calling it “frivolous.”  

All three measures head to the House for further consideration.  

 

Capitol News Illinois is a nonprofit, nonpartisan news service covering state government. It is distributed to more than 400 newspapers statewide, as well as hundreds of radio and TV stations. It is funded primarily by the Illinois Press Foundation and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation.

Leave a Comment





Local News

regional palos heights logo

Palos Heights City Council rejects City Hall renovation

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong Palos Heights aldermen rejected a $1.7 million renovation project for its aging City Hall building at a sometimes testy City Council meeting Tuesday night. Aldermen voted 5-3 to shoot down a plan that would have made some bathrooms compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, moved the Building Department back…

Flames lick the night sky Tuesday morning after a fire was reported at a home in the 14700 block of Holly Court in Orland Park. (Photos courtesy of Orland Fire Protection District)

Firefighter injured fighting Orland Park fire Tuesday morning

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong  One firefighter suffered minor injuries while battling a fire at a home in Orland Park early Tuesday morning. Orland Fire Protection District officials said the fire was reported at 3:35 a.m. on Feb. 20 in the 14700 block of Holly Court in Orland Park. The fire was brought under control…

CRR_NH

Clear-Ridge Reporter and NewsHound February 21, 2024

Spread the love

Spread the love

Peggy Zabicki

Weather was sweet for Valentine’s Day

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327 . I hope everyone had a nice Valentine’s Day. The weather sure was nice. As my hubby and I drove around the neighborhood that day, we saw a lot of holiday merchandise for sale outside at street corners and…

Kathy Headley

Using Lent to help those in need

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 . At this time of year, most every Christian faith takes part in the Lenten Season leading up to Easter, There are many different ways to do that, including giving up a favorite treat, attending…

Mary Stanek

We’re about to leap into March

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place •  (773) 517-7796 . One more week to get through this long, long month. While the weather has been cooperative so far, this February is exceptionally long. It is a leap year. Leap Day, Feb. 29, is…

CRRNH_NewWarsaw_020724

New Warsaw saga continues

Spread the love

Spread the love. Neighbors to have a second say about banquet hall . By Dermot Connolly and Tim Hadac Several dozen Clearing residents interested in the future of the shuttered New Warsaw Restaurant & Banquets property, 6250 W. 63rd St., had their say last week. More than 50 people turned out on Feb. 14 at…

Sandburg players celebrate their Class 4A regional championship after defeating Romeoville in overtime on Feb. 15. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Girls Basketball | Sandburg outlasts Romeoville for first regional crown since 2016

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent It was the Eagles’ game to win and no one was going to change the outcome. On its home floor against a Romeoville team that had not lost this year, Sandburg used overtime to defeat the Spartans, 62-58, on Feb. 15 for the Class 4A Sandburg Regional title. It…

Evergreen Park guard Taylor Yeaman drives past Hinsdale South's Amelia Lavorato during the Hornets' regional final victory on Feb. 16. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Girls Basketball | Evergreen Park’s Scaduto signs off after career spanning four decades

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent The box score does not always give the full story of a game. Evergreen Park visited Hinsdale South on Feb. 16 with the hope of winning a regional championship.  Unfortunately for the Mustangs, the game did not go their way. The Hornets jumped to an 18-3 lead in the…

One man was shot to death and another was critically wounded early Saturday outside this McCook tavern. A Chicago man has been charged with first-degree murder. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

McCook police arrest Chicago man in fatal shooting

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong A Chicago man has been charged with first-degree murder in Saturday’s early morning shooting outside All Star Bar, 7949 W. 47th St. in McCook, which left one man dead and a second man wounded. Sisto A. Brito, 32, was charged Monday with one count of first-degree murder and two counts…

Neighbors

Mary Stanek

Looks like March may go out like a lion

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Mary Stanek Your correspondent in Archer Heights and West Elsdon 3808 W. 57th Place •  (773) 517-7796. . March comes in like a lamb – it goes out like a lion! A sneak peek at the weather forecast for the next 10 days does show some mild days. So, we welcome…

Kathy Headley

Weather cooperated for Marine’s return

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Kathy Headley Your correspondent in Chicago Lawn and Marquette Manor 6610 S. Francisco • (773) 776-7778 . After the surprising snow coming down like a blizzard for a while last Friday night, I was especially glad to see the sun Saturday morning, for Patrick Downs (St. Rita High School class of…

Peggy Zabicki

Slam the brakes on reckless drivers

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Peggy Zabicki Your correspondent in West Lawn 3633 W. 60th Place •  (773) 504-9327 . The most popular topic of conversation in our neighborhood lately is the problem of speeding drivers. There are car accidents every single day due to drivers who break the law. I hope the city will add even more…

Hon. Koula Fornier

Fournier resigns from TTO to become judge

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Lyons Township Trustees of Schools is accepting applications for a vacancy on their board, after Trustee Koula A. Fournier resigned earlier this month after being sworn-in as a Judge of the Cook County Circuit Court. Fournier was appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to fill the Maloney vacancy of…

SRP-IMAGE-Logo

Boys Hoops Wrap | Curie, Rice and Marist among area regional champs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent The original March Madness got underway last week across Illinois, and several area teams were crowned regional champions. Teams still alive in Class 4A are Marist and Curie, and in Class 3A are Brother Rice, De La Salle, Evergreen Park and Mount Carmel.   CLASS 4A Marist (29-4) cruised…

Evergreen Park senior Tre Dowdell crosses over a Hillcrest defender during the Class 3A Evergreen Park Regional championship game on Feb. 23. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Basketball Class 3A Playoffs | Evergreen Park tops Hillcrest for first regional title since 1974

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Some Evergreen Park players have deep roots in the community, but it was a newcomer that carried the Mustangs to a monumental win. Senior guard Tre Dowdell put up a game-high 30 points and Mustangs rolled to a 74-60 win over Hillcrest in the Class 3A Evergreen Park Regional…

SeatGeek Stadium in Bridgeview could be the site for Northwestern football games in 2024. Photo by Jeff Vorva

College Football | Northwestern football may play at SeatGeek

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent It appears that Chicago’s Big Ten team will be Bridgeview’s Big Ten team for at least one day. Maybe more. Northwestern has released its 2024 football schedule, but where the Wildcats will play their seven home games is unknown. Their home stadium, Ryan Field in Evanston, is undergoing a…

Nazareth senior Amalia Dray fight through a Kenwood defender during the Roadrunners’ 50-37 win in the Class 4A Mother McAuley Sectional title game. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Girls Basketball | Nazareth tops Homewood-Flossmoor, heads to Illinois Final Four for fifth time in past six seasons

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Nazareth head coach Ed Stritzel has built his Roadrunners into a powerhouse program with a defense-first philosophy that is carrying the reigning Class 3A state champions through another deep postseason run. Four nights after Nazareth held Kenwood to a season-low 37 points in the Class 4A Mother McAuley Sectional…

Mount Carmel's wrestling team celebrates a Class 3A championship. Photo courtesy of Mount Carmel High School

Postseason Roundup | Mount Carmel wrestling wins fifth state title

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent During the regular season, only one wrestling team from Illinois beat Mount Carmel in a dual meet. Joliet Catholic got the better of the Caravan with a 38-27 victory on Jan. 18. That came two days after Mount Carmel lost to Crown Point (Indiana). The Caravan will be unable…

St. Laurence's Kathleen Martin gets off a shot against Hinsdale South in the Class 3A St. Ignatius Sectional on Feb. 22 in Chicago. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Area Sports Roundup | St. Laurence girls hoops has benchmark season

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The St. Laurence girls basketball team’s historic season came to a close with a 42-29 loss to Hinsdale South at the Class 3A St. Ignatius Sectional on Feb. 22, but the Vikings hit some milestone’s in former Marist and Saint Xavier star Claire Austin’s first year as coach. The…