Information on Illinois FOCA Bill

The Reproductive Health and Access Act (HB 2354) is a dangerous state version of the so-called Freedom Of Choice Act (FOCA). If Illinois should pass this bill, abortion would be enshrined as a right in Illinois. We would not be able to have any of the following protections:

1. Partial-birth abortion would be legal 
2. There would be no conscience clause for health care workers in Illinois. 
3. There would be no informed consent/waiting period. 
4. There would be no parental involvement. 
5. Taxpayers would pay for abortions. 
6. Requiring only physicians perform abortions would be nullified, allowing for non-physician abortions. 
7. Mandates that all Illinois public schools provide "comprehensive" sex education

FOCA states every woman has "a fundamental right" to have an abortion, and no Illinois government may deny or "interfere with" this right. Moreover, no government agency may "discriminate against the exercise of this right when regulating or providing "benefits, facilities, services, or information" to the public. In other words, abortion may not be treated differently from live birth -- if a public program supports motherhood, it must equally support abortion. HB 2354 endangers a wide range of laws enacted in Illinois over the last 35 years.

On March 11, 2009 the Human Services Committee passed HB 2354 on a 5-2 vote. Now is the time to contact your Representatives, and urge them to vote "NO" on HB 2354.

For more information visit Illinois Federation Right To Life Web Site

Bending the Knee to Baal

Commentary from Dan Smith


I represented William Frazee in his unemployment case in the Illinois courts. Mr. Frazee was denied unemployment benefits because his Christian morals precluded work on Sunday. Because he refused to work one day of a five day work assignment from the unemployment office, that agency disqualified him from receiving the entire remaining unemployment insurance benefits to which he was entitled while seeking regular employment. Fortunately for freedom, twenty years ago this month the Rutherford Institute took his case to the United States Supreme Court and won, 9 - 0, upholding the right of conscience protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.

Fast forward to March 2009. The Illinois legislature has pending House Bill 2354, deceptively called the Reproductive Health and Access Act, which would require doctors, nurses and other health care professionals to perform abortions or help people get them. Not only that, but their taxes and ours would be required to pay for abortions on demand. The bill requires Illinois to fund abortions, including abortions to teenagers without their parents’ knowledge or consent, or abortionists can drag our agencies into court and require taxpayers to pay the abortionists’ lawyers and expert witness fees to boot.

We have come a long way downhill in the past twenty years, from unanimously upholding the right of conscience to requiring the conscientious to assist and bear the costs of the most heinous practice of child killing. We will all pay a heavy price if we require all to bend the knee to Baal. Now is the time to urge your state representatives to oppose House Bill 2354.

Daniel J. Smith 
Attorney and CIRTL Board Member