“Medical professionals committed to preserving and protecting human life should never be forced to advocate for abortion,” said AUL’s Clarke Forsythe. “Governmental power should be used to protect conscience rights, not to coerce those who value human life at all stages of development.”
WASHINGTON D.C. (06-13-17) – Americans United for Life’s legal team has filed an amici curiae (friend of the court) brief in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates et al., v. Bruce Rauner and Bryan A. Schneider. AUL authored the brief on behalf of leading pro-life medical groups such as the American Association of Pro-life Obstetricians & Gynecologists, the American College of Pediatricians, and the Christian Medical Association, as well as Heartbeat International, the largest national and international network of individual pregnancy help organizations.
At the heart of the case are the 2017 Amendments to the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act (“The HCRCA”). The HCRCA, as amended, requires that pro-life medical personnel who refuse to participate in abortions for ethical and medical reasons either refer patients for abortions, transfer their patients to abortion providers, or provide a list of abortion providers to patients. The HCRCA also requires that these medical professionals inform pregnant women that abortion is a legal “treatment” for their “condition” as part of informed consent requirements. Providers who do not comply can be subject to professional discipline, as well as malpractice lawsuits.
AUL Senior Counsel Clarke Forsythe noted in the brief that the onerous requirements in the amended HCRCA “not only obstruct the ability of the physician to make professional judgments in the best interests of their patients but also force doctors committed to the Hippocratic Oath to become involved in the taking of human life or risk the loss of their medical license.”
Forsythe also noted that pro-life medical professionals not only have ethical objections to ending unborn life, but are also concerned for the medical well-being of their patients given the many dangers of abortion for women, from both chemical and surgical abortion, “The amici medical organizations and those providers that are represented by them have serious ethical and scientific concerns regarding the short- and long-term effects of elective abortion on women, their families, and society at large.”
To learn more about the health risks of abortion for women, click here.
To read AUL’s brief, click here.