Americans United for Life | Illinois 2014 Report Card
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Illinois 2014 Report Card

Ranking: 27

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In July 2013, the Illinois Supreme Court ended years of litigation and obstruction by abortion advocates, upholding the state’s parental notification law. Not only does this long-awaited decision mean that minors in Illinois are now better protected from the parasitic abortion industry, but it also means that minors from other states will be less likely to cross state lines into Illinois, seeking to avoid their home states’ parental involvement laws.


  • Illinois prohibits a physician from performing an abortion on a minor under the age of 18 without providing 48-hours’ notice to one parent or other adult family member is enjoined pending the outcome of ongoing state litigation. The law provides exceptions in cases of rape, incest, child abuse by an adult family member, or in a medical emergency, and permits a minor to seek a court order to bypass the notice requirement.
  • Illinois’ abortion clinic regulations are not uniformly applied to all of the state’s abortion clinics.
  • Only physicians licensed by the state of Illinois may perform abortions.  A chiropractor’s 1978 challenge this requirement was rejected.
  • Illinois has an enforceable abortion reporting law, but does not require the reporting of information to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).  The measure requires abortion providers to report short-term complications.
  • Illinois requires abortion providers, as well as those who provide abortion referrals, to report suspected child abuse or neglect.
  • Illinois taxpayers are required by court order to fund “medically necessary” abortions for women eligible for public assistance. This requirement essentially equates to funding abortion-on-demand in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s broad definition of “health” in the context of abortion.
  • Illinois Department of Children and Family Services grants may be made to non-profit agencies and organizations which do not use such grants to refer for, counsel for, or perform abortions.
  • In the state health plan, Illinois provides abortion coverage only when a woman’s life is endangered.
  • Health insurance plans that provide prescription coverage must also provide coverage for contraception.  An exemption is provided for religious employers.

Legal Recognition and Protection of Unborn and Newly Born:

  • Under Illinois criminal law, the killing of an unborn child at any stage of gestation is defined as a form of homicide.
  • Illinois defines a nonfatal assault on an unborn child as a crime.
  • Illinois allows a wrongful death (civil) action when an unborn child at any stage of development is killed through a third-party’s negligent or criminal act.
  • The state has created a specific affirmative duty of physicians to provide medical care and treatment to infants born alive at any stage of development.
  • Illinois maintains an Abandoned Newborn Infant Protection Act, or “Baby Moses” law, which includes a prohibition preventing persons accepting an infant under the Act from publicly discussing the circumstances surrounding the infant’s legal surrender.
  • The state defines substance abuse during pregnancy as “child abuse” under civil child-welfare statutes. Illinois also requires healthcare professionals to report suspected prenatal drug exposure and funds drug treatment programs for pregnant women and newborns.

Bioethics Laws:

  • Under the Stem Cell Research and Human Cloning Prohibition Act, Illinois permits and funds destructive embryo research.  While the Act prohibits cloning-to-produce-children, it specifically allows for “therapeutic cloning”—thus making Illinois a “clone-and-kill” state.
  • The state Department of Public Health has been directed to establish a network of human cord blood banks. The Department also encourages healthcare providers to distribute a state-produced publication on umbilical cord blood banking, and encourages all licensed hospitals are to offer pregnant women the option to donate cord blood.
  • Illinois does not regulate human egg harvesting, provides no meaningful regulation of assisted reproductive technologies, and permits gestational surrogacy.

End of Life Laws:

  • In Illinois, assisted suicide is a felony.
  • Illinois maintains a Physicians Order for Life-Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Paradigm Program.

Healthcare Freedom of Conscience:

Participation in Abortion and Contraception:

  • By statute, Illinois protects the civil rights of all healthcare providers, whether individuals, institutions, or payers (public or private), who conscientiously object to participating in any healthcare services, including abortion.  The law includes protection for medical and nursing students, counselors, and social workers.
  • A state appellate court has ruled that the Illinois rule forcing pharmacists to dispense “emergency contraception” violates the Illinois Healthcare Rights of Conscience Act.
  • Health insurance plans that provide prescription coverage must also provide coverage for contraception. A conscience exemption is provided for religious employers.

Participation in Research Harmful to Human Life:

  • By statute, Illinois protects the civil rights of all healthcare providers who conscientious­ly object to participating in procedures such as human cloning and destructive embryo research.

What Happened in 2013:

  • In Hope Clinic for Women v. Adams, the Illinois Supreme Court upheld the state’s parental notification law.
  • Illinois considered legislation prohibiting abortion at 5 months of pregnancy, regulating abortion clinics, delineating qualifications for individual abortion providers, imposing an ultrasound requirement, limiting abortion funding, and establishing “Choose Life” license plates.
  • The state considered a measure providing for fetal death or stillbirth certificates or requiring registration of such deaths. Illinois considered measures related to advance planning documents, as well as measures related to pain management and palliative care.
  • In Morr-Fitz v. Quinn, a challenge filed by AUL in 2005, the Illinois Attorney General declined to appeal a state appellate court decision ruling that a rule forcing pharmacists to dispense “emergency contraception” violated the Illinois Healthcare Rights of Conscience Act.

Recommendations for Illinois:

Women’s Protection Project Priorities:

  • Women’s Health Defense Act (5-month abortion limitation)
  • Women’s Right to Know with reflection period
  • Women’s Health Protection Act (abortion clinic regulations)
  • Abortion-Inducing Drugs Safety Act
  • Parental Involvement Enhancement Act
  • Components of the Child Protection Act related to evidence retention and remedies for third-party interference with parental rights

Additional Priorities:

  • Abortion Mandate Opt-Out Act
  • Abortion Complication Reporting Act
  • Women’s Ultrasound Right to Know Act
  • Coercive Abuse Against Mothers Prevention Act
  • Defunding the Abortion Industry and Advancing Women’s Health Act
  • Joint Resolution Commending Pregnancy Resource Centers
Legal Recognition and Protection for the Unborn:
  • Pregnant Woman’s Protection Act
  • Human Cloning Prohibition Act
  • Destructive Embryo Research Act
  • Prohibition on Public Funding of Human Cloning and Destructive Embryo Research Act
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