CHICAGO – While Illinois conservatives' rancor rose to new heights when Republican Governor Bruce Rauner signed into law Democrat-promoted bills forcing Illinois taxpayers to subsidize low income women and girls' abortions and local law enforcement to ignore federal immigration policy, a "right of conscience" bill started conservatives' dissatisfaction with Rauner.
The state measure, which went into effect in January 2017, requires medical personnel to provide the following information if a patient requests an abortion:
- Refer the patient to a facility that performs abortions.
- Transfer the patient to a facility that performs abortion.
- Provide the patient with a list of other health care providers who perform abortions.
"It is unclear if providing a phone book for the patient to locate an abortion clinic fulfills this obligation of the law," the group says on its website. "Providing a phone book poses an ethical question as to whether that counts as involvement in an abortion or not."
Conservatives' dissatisfaction with the Illinois measure and others requiring medical personnel to participate in abortions at the state level is now being mulled about in the U.S. Congress. The "Conscience Protection Act" is an effort pro-life lawmakers are pushing to become federal law.
In November, the Chicago law firm Mauck & Baker accompanied a client from Winnebago County that lost her job as a pediatric nurse when she refused to assist in an abortion.
Sandra Mendoza said at the press conference held in Washington DC that participating in an abortion was against her religious beliefs.
"I became a nurse to save lives. I love children – I did not become a nurse to take lives," Mendoza said in an interview.
“Being American has always been experiencing the freedom to live by the dictates of one’s deeply held beliefs,” said Rep. Diane Black, R-Tenn., who is one of the primary authors of the Conscience Protection Act.
“We are not seeking to change anyone’s minds on abortion,” she said, “though I would hope one day they could. We are simply asking to protect the fundamental rights of Americans. No one, ever, should be forced to participate in killing an unborn child.”