Illinois House Committee Approves Radical FOCA-Style Bill, Pro-Lifers Rally
by Steven Ertelt
March 12, 2009
Springfield, IL (LifeNews.com) — An Illinois state House committee has signed off on a bill that is similar to the so-called Freedom of Choice Act that pro-life advocates are rallying against in Congress. The Illinois bill, like the federal version, would overturn several pro-life state laws that help women and reduce abortions.
The Illinois House Human Services Committee approved the bill, HB 2354, on Wednesday. The measure is known as the Reproductive Health and Access Act.
Eric Scheidler, the communications director for the Pro-Life Action League, has been monitoring the bill and he told LifeNews.com that other pro-life advocates in the state need to be concerned about it.
This Illinois FOCA would overturn the modest restrictions on abortion in our state that the vast majority of Illinoisans support, like the Parental Notification Act of 1995," he said. "Even the state ban on partial-birth abortion — a practice nearly everyone abhors — would be overturned by HB 2354."
Even pro-choice Illinoisans will recognize how radical HB 2354 really is. Illinois has already become the abortion capital of the Midwest, said Scheidler. The last thing we need is an expansion of the abortion license in our state.
His group is working with other pro-life organizations across the state to make a coordinated plan to stop HB 2354 when it moves on to the full Illinois House.
Clarke Forsythe, a respected pro-life attorney with Americans United for Life, has written about what the radical bill would do.
"The Illinois FOCA would repeal Illinois physician-only law and all other Illinois limits on abortion by virtue of declaring abortion to be a ‘fundamental right’ and by prohibiting (in Section 15) any ‘interference’ with the fundamental right," he explains.
"The Illinois FOCA would authorize a nurse, in any public school in the state, to do an abortion on a minor girl, at any time of pregnancy, without any parental knowledge," he said. "It would also eliminate the Illinois prohibition on partial-birth abortion and repeal other existing abortion regulations."
"The declaration of abortion as a ‘fundamental right’ would extend from conception to birth and thereby strike down any regulations of abortion throughout pregnancy," Forsythe warns.
Forsythe also says the bill, in section 20, would force Illinois taxpayers to fund abortions by prohibiting discrimination against women in any state funding.
"It would also require public funding of abortion from conception to birth by requiring that abortion be treated equally with childbirth," the pro-life attorney adds.
Forsythe says pro-life advocates need to be careful about abortion activists like NARAL and Planned Parenthood introducing FOCA-style bills in their states.
ACTION: Contact your state representative and urge strong opposition to HB 2354, the Reproductive Health and Access Act. Go to https://www.ilga.gov/house for contact information.
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