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

Brother Rice junior Gavin Arnold forces the ball over the net during a match against Richards on April 19. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Volleyball | Brother Rice falls to Glenbard West and York, takes 4th at Smack Attack

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent It was a busy weekend in the area for boys volleyball as Brother Rice hosted its 14th annual Smack Attack tournament. The 24-team event played April 19-20 featured area teams Brother Rice, Marist and Richards, along with defending Class 4A champion Glenbard West and two highly rated teams from…

Swanson scores, assists in Red Stars’ win over Reign

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe Red Stars improved to 3-1-1 by beating the Seattle Reign, 2-1, on the road on April 21. Mallory Swanson had an assist on an Ali Schlegel goal in the fourth minute and added a goal of her own in the 31st minute. Swanson missed last season after sustaining a knee injury on…

Tatumn Milazzo, shown at media day before the season started, was amused by winning a Save of the Week award. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Red Stars’ Tatumn Milazzo has top Save of the Week

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Tatumn Milazzo called her achievement “funny.” The Chicago Red Stars defender and Orland Park native was awarded the NWSL’s Save of the Week after chasing down a ball in a loss to Angel City on April 13. The Save of the Week usually goes to a goalie. Milazzo laughed…

A lone white volleyball sitting on a wooden floor

Men’s College Volleyball | Saint Xavier captures fifth straight conference tourney title

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The SXU men’s volleyball team won its fifth straight Chicagoland Christian Athletic Conference tournament championship after a 25-16, 25-17, 25-22 sweep of Calumet College of St. Joseph on April 20 at the Shannon Center. Jan Lopuch had 10 kills and nine digs for the Cougars. With the win, the…

Baseball in a mitt with a black bat low angle selective focus view on a baseball field

College Baseball | Saint Xavier upsets Eastern Illinois

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The Saint Xavier baseball team picked up a win that its players are going to remember for a long time. The Cougars stunned Eastern Illinois, 4-2, on April 17 in Charleston. It was the Cougars’ first win over the Panthers, a Division I program, since 2005. Lyons grad Troy…

A lone white volleyball sitting on a wooden floor

Boys Volleyball | Glenbard West tops Marist to stay unbeaten

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The Marist boys volleyball team, ranked fifth in the nation by USA Today/American Volleyball Coaches, lost to Glenbard West, 25-23, 25-21, in the championship match at the Brother Rice Smack Attack on April 20 in Chicago. Glenbard West (19-0) is the two-time defending state champion and is ranked third…

Alliyah Flores and her St. Laurence teammates earned academic honors by the IBCA. Photo by Jeff Vorva

St. Laurence hoops teams top honor roll

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Area basketball teams proved to be strong on the court and in the classroom this season, and St. Laurence was the leader of the pack. The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association compiled a list of the top academic teams, and the area did well. In Division 3 girls, St. Laurence…

St. Rita's David Lyle won honors from the Chicago Bears. St. Rita photo

Chicago Bears recognize St. Rita senior with All-Star award

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Chances are good that few outside of St. Rita football circles know who David Lyle is. With good reason. Lyle missed his senior season for the Mustangs last fall after sustaining a serious knee injury. He even postponed having knee surgery so that he could take care of his…

CRRNH_CosmoPhotoMDWArmory_032724

Pols want 63rd St. armory for new police HQ

Spread the love

Spread the love. Porfirio, Guerrero-Cuellar push plan in Springfield . By Tim Hadac Any plans the Chicago Department of Aviation may have had for the vacant Army National Guard Midway Armory, 5400 W. 63rd St., may be grounded, at least for now. Several elected officials are eyeing the parcel as the headquarters of a new…

Stacy Cygan. --Supplied photo

Her back against the wall, Stacy needs help

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Tim Hadac Editor Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound (708)-496-0265 . Clearing and Garfield Ridge have earned a reputation as a place where people look out for each other—and that sometimes means caring for each other in times of need. Today, I want to talk about one such person, who sure could use…

Neighbors

Brother Rice junior Gavin Arnold forces the ball over the net during a match against Richards on April 19. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Boys Volleyball | Brother Rice falls to Glenbard West and York, takes 4th at Smack Attack

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent It was a busy weekend in the area for boys volleyball as Brother Rice hosted its 14th annual Smack Attack tournament. The 24-team event played April 19-20 featured area teams Brother Rice, Marist and Richards, along with defending Class 4A champion Glenbard West and two highly rated teams from…

Swanson scores, assists in Red Stars’ win over Reign

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe Red Stars improved to 3-1-1 by beating the Seattle Reign, 2-1, on the road on April 21. Mallory Swanson had an assist on an Ali Schlegel goal in the fourth minute and added a goal of her own in the 31st minute. Swanson missed last season after sustaining a knee injury on…

Tatumn Milazzo, shown at media day before the season started, was amused by winning a Save of the Week award. Photo by Jeff Vorva

Red Stars’ Tatumn Milazzo has top Save of the Week

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Tatumn Milazzo called her achievement “funny.” The Chicago Red Stars defender and Orland Park native was awarded the NWSL’s Save of the Week after chasing down a ball in a loss to Angel City on April 13. The Save of the Week usually goes to a goalie. Milazzo laughed…

A lone white volleyball sitting on a wooden floor

Men’s College Volleyball | Saint Xavier captures fifth straight conference tourney title

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The SXU men’s volleyball team won its fifth straight Chicagoland Christian Athletic Conference tournament championship after a 25-16, 25-17, 25-22 sweep of Calumet College of St. Joseph on April 20 at the Shannon Center. Jan Lopuch had 10 kills and nine digs for the Cougars. With the win, the…

Baseball in a mitt with a black bat low angle selective focus view on a baseball field

College Baseball | Saint Xavier upsets Eastern Illinois

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The Saint Xavier baseball team picked up a win that its players are going to remember for a long time. The Cougars stunned Eastern Illinois, 4-2, on April 17 in Charleston. It was the Cougars’ first win over the Panthers, a Division I program, since 2005. Lyons grad Troy…

A lone white volleyball sitting on a wooden floor

Boys Volleyball | Glenbard West tops Marist to stay unbeaten

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent The Marist boys volleyball team, ranked fifth in the nation by USA Today/American Volleyball Coaches, lost to Glenbard West, 25-23, 25-21, in the championship match at the Brother Rice Smack Attack on April 20 in Chicago. Glenbard West (19-0) is the two-time defending state champion and is ranked third…

Alliyah Flores and her St. Laurence teammates earned academic honors by the IBCA. Photo by Jeff Vorva

St. Laurence hoops teams top honor roll

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Area basketball teams proved to be strong on the court and in the classroom this season, and St. Laurence was the leader of the pack. The Illinois Basketball Coaches Association compiled a list of the top academic teams, and the area did well. In Division 3 girls, St. Laurence…

St. Rita's David Lyle won honors from the Chicago Bears. St. Rita photo

Chicago Bears recognize St. Rita senior with All-Star award

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Jeff Vorva Correspondent Chances are good that few outside of St. Rita football circles know who David Lyle is. With good reason. Lyle missed his senior season for the Mustangs last fall after sustaining a serious knee injury. He even postponed having knee surgery so that he could take care of his…

CRRNH_CosmoPhotoMDWArmory_032724

Pols want 63rd St. armory for new police HQ

Spread the love

Spread the love. Porfirio, Guerrero-Cuellar push plan in Springfield . By Tim Hadac Any plans the Chicago Department of Aviation may have had for the vacant Army National Guard Midway Armory, 5400 W. 63rd St., may be grounded, at least for now. Several elected officials are eyeing the parcel as the headquarters of a new…

Stacy Cygan. --Supplied photo

Her back against the wall, Stacy needs help

Spread the love

Spread the love. By Tim Hadac Editor Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound (708)-496-0265 . Clearing and Garfield Ridge have earned a reputation as a place where people look out for each other—and that sometimes means caring for each other in times of need. Today, I want to talk about one such person, who sure could use…