SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois’ General Assembly passed a bill that would allow the attorney general to shut down pro-life pregnancy centers over messaging to women seeking abortion.
Senate Bill 1909 prohibits the use of deceptive practices to interfere with an individual seeking to gain entry or access to the provider of an abortion or emergency contraceptives, induce an individual to enter a limited services pregnancy center, in advertising, soliciting, or otherwise offering pregnancy-related services, or in providing pregnancy-related services.
“Patients report going to crisis pregnancy centers, sometimes even receiving exams and ultrasounds, thinking they were visiting a different 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.
The Attorney General’s Office will be allowed to shut down and fine, up to $50,000, any crisis pregnancy center found to be in violation.
“Let there be no mistake, Senate Bill 1909 is a bill designed to weaponize our state’s Attorney General’s Office against pregnancy resource centers for so-called deceptive practices merely because they do not actively promote abortion procedures,” Sen. Win Stoller (R-Germantown Hills) said in March.
Stoller and other Republican lawmakers voiced their concern over the bill, saying what determines if a pregnancy center is in violation was not well defined.
“Perhaps the Attorney General can elaborate on some of these questions we are asking here,” Rep. Adam Niemberg (R-Dieterich) asked Raoul during debate in the House, according to The Center Square. “This is a very broad brush that you are painting with, representative, and I think the people of Illinois deserve to know through examples what will be applicable and what won’t be applicable under this act, don’t you agree?”
Rep. Terra Costa Howard (D-Lombard) said each case will be determined on a case-by-case basis.
“These fake clinics were set up specifically to deceive patients who are seeking reproductive health care,” Costa Howard said. “These so-called clinics actually put patients’ health at risk by interfering with their access to comprehensive care, and it’s time to hold them accountable for their deceptive practices.”
The bill passed both the Senate and the House and will now be sent to Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his signature.