The Illinois Department of Public Health has just admitted to the ACLJ the existence of 20,008 emails about making sure abortions continue during the pandemic. The Illinois government, it would seem, has spent a lot of time worrying about everybody but the unborn. Here is the backstory.
On April 22nd of this year, we filed an IL Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the Illinois Department of Public Health regarding communications between Governor JB Pritzker, the Illinois Department of Public Health, Illinois NARAL, Personal PAC, and Planned Parenthood Illinois Action concerning Executive Order 2020-10 (the COVID-19 pandemic order for the state of Illinois).
As we previously explained, “While other states are ceasing elective medical procedures – including elective abortions – during the Coronavirus pandemic, Illinois is keeping its abortion clinics open for business.” We simply wanted to know why and how the abortion industry got special treatment for elective abortions when all other elective procedures were shut down in the state due to the pandemic.
The IL Department of Public Health timely replied on May 6th with a response that the request was “unduly burdensome” and asking us to narrow our request. We did so on May 29th. Specifically, we narrowed our request to the two paragraphs below, with the new words in bold:
All records prepared, generated, transmitted, sent, shared, saved, or received, by any Department of Public Health appointee, staff, employee or agent, that are or concern in any way communications with any person or organization advocating for inclusion of reproductive healthcare providers in Executive Order 2020-10, its implementation, or the language of any provision contained in the Order at any stage of its development in the Executive Chamber, that contain any of the following words: “abortion,” “reproductive health,” “reproductive justice,” “reproductive rights,” “reproductive freedoms,” “sexual rights,” “antis,” “anti-choice,” “pro-choice,” “prochoice,” “extremists,” or “induced fetal demise.”
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All letters, emails, memoranda or reports prepared, generated, transmitted, sent, or reviewed by any Department of Public Health appointee, staff, employee or agent, that concern or regard in any way the impact that the inclusion or non-inclusion of “reproductive health services” in Executive Order 2020-10 could have that contain any of the following words: “abortion,” “reproductive health,” “reproductive justice,” “reproductive rights,” “reproductive freedoms,” “sexual rights,” “antis,” “anti-choice,” “pro-choice,” “prochoice,” “extremists,” or “induced fetal demise.”
In other words, we asked for any government emails about the pandemic Executive Order that included any of the pro-abortion Left’s preferred euphemisms for killing an unborn baby. We got over 20,000 hits.
On June 15, 2020, the Illinois Department responded. It stated that our new and narrowed request was a “categorical request” and needed to be narrowed again. It stated that a search of Department emails was conducted and “20,008 responsive emails (not including attachments)” were located. Because of the “outbreak,” the staff is too busy to review the emails for responsiveness and privilege. (But apparently, not too busy to have created the emails.) It would take about “6,500” hours.
We do not know what the emails contain or what the attachments contain – yet – but when we find out, we will let you know about how and why Governor Pritzker gave special consideration to abortion in the time of COVID-19.
We are already working to “narrow” this request in order to obtain the most relevant documents in a timely manner; but the sheer volume of abortion-related emails flying around the Illinois government, including the Governor and Lieutenant Governor’s offices, during the pandemic already paints a picture that the abortion industry doesn’t want you to know about. We’re going to expose the ugly truth.
LifeNews Note: Jordan Sekulow is Executive Director of the American Center for Law & Justice