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Illinois Womenís Health and Life Alliance Urges House Defeat of SB 1564
Bill Violates Rights of Doctors, Women and Creates Legal Liabilities
 
Contact: Tom Ciesielka, 312-422-1333, 312-403-1333 cell, tc@tcpr.net
 
SPRINGFIELD, Ill., May 4, 2015 /Christian Newswire/ -- A coalition of Illinois and national leaders focused on protecting women's health and life are calling upon Illinois State Representatives to defeat Senate Bill 1564, which seeks to amend the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act. SB 1564 will dilute and undermine the current, federally compliant law as detailed in a bipartisan U.S. Congressional letter.
 
WHEN: Tuesday, May 5, 2015, 12 p.m. noon (CENTRAL)
 
WHAT: Illinois Women's Health and Life Alliance press conference urging an Illinois House defeat of SB 1564.
 
WHERE: Blue Room, Illinois State Capitol Building, 401 S 2nd Street, Springfield, IL 62701; Map
 
ONLINE STREAMING: www.blueroomstream.com (for subscribers)
Choose 05-05-2015 LIVE 12:00 p.m. Rep. Morrison Press Conference (SB 1564 Health Care Right of Conscience) Blue Room Springfield
 
WHO:
• Dr. Mary Keen, MD, president of the Chicago guild of the Catholic Medical Association, will discuss how SB 1564 tramples on doctors' rights of conscience.
• Debbie Shultz, executive director of Lifetime Pregnancy Help Center in Springfield, will speak to why it is imperative that the rights of conscience of those working at pro-life pregnancy centers not be violated by SB 1564.
• Illinois House Representative Ron Sandack (R – Downers Grove) will explain why he is voting against SB 1564 and is encouraging his legislative peers to vote against it as well.
• Attorney Anna Paprocki, staff counsel at Americans United for Life, will address SB 1564's devastating legal implications for Illinois.
 
WHY: Illinois Women's Health and Life Alliance is urging an Illinois House defeat of SB 1564 because…
 
Doctors' rights of conscience are trampled on. SB 1564 would require doctors to facilitate abortions for any reason, and at any stage of pregnancy, despite their conscientious and professional objections. Illinois' existing conscience law already ensures patient safety is not compromised by clarifying that a physician is not relieved from a duty to "inform his or her patient of the patient's condition, prognosis, and risks…" The current law also clearly provides that healthcare personnel are not relieved from "obligations under the law of providing emergency medical care."
 
Dr. Mary Keen, MD, will speak to this issue. Keen is the medical director of Pediatric Rehabilitation at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital, clinical associate professor at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, and attending physician in the Departments of Pediatrics and Orthopedic Surgery Section of Rehabilitation Medicine. Keen is also president of the Chicago guild of the Catholic Medical Association.

The rights of those working at pro-life pregnancy centers are trampled on. SB 1564 would require pregnancy center workers to violate their core mission by referring women for abortions or distributing information on where to obtain abortions. Pregnancy centers that exist to offer women alternatives to abortions are healthcare providers bound by the bill's coercive duties to promote abortions. SB 1564 would force pregnancy centers to discuss the so-called "benefits" of abortions and provide information on where to obtain abortions.
 
Debbie Shultz, executive director of Lifetime Pregnancy Help Center in Springfield, will speak to why it is imperative that the rights of conscience of those working at pro-life pregnancy centers not be violated by SB 1564.
 
Illinois becomes rife with new legal liabilities. SB 1564 jeopardizes Illinois' federal funding including, but not limited to, the federal share of Medicaid. It violates longstanding federal conscience laws, including the Church Amendment, the Coats-Snowe Amendment, and the Hyde-Weldon Amendment. SB 1564's requirements that healthcare providers "provide in writing information," "transfer," or "refer" patients for treatments to which they object, are incompatible with these federal laws. Violating these laws would seriously imperil the state's federal funding for health-related services, which is expressly conditioned on compliance with these federal conscience laws.
 
Attorney Anna Paprocki will speak to this issue. Paprocki is staff counsel at Americans United for Life and a resident of Illinois. She has been interviewed about rights of conscience in a variety of news sources including National Review Online, Politico, Washington Times, Touchstone Magazine, World Magazine, National Catholic Register, Fox News, CBN, ABC News, CBS News, and NPR.
 
Illinois House Representative Ron Sandack (R – Downers Grove) will also address the media to emphasize why SB 1564 is a bad choice for Illinois. 
 
Illinois Women's Health and Life Alliance represents the following Illinois citizen organizations, physicians, and medical pregnancy center organizations, and national physician and pregnancy center organizations with Illinois members:
 
• Dr. Anthony J. Caruso, MD MPH, Downers Grove OB/GYN,
• Dr. L. Carl Jurgens, MD, OB Hospitalist, Rockford Health Physicians
• Dr. Mary Keen, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Loyola University Medical Center
• Dr. Robert C. Lawler, MD, Downers Grove OB/GYN
• Dr. Richard G. Moutvic, MD, Obstetrics & Gynecology
• Dr. Joseph J. Kash, MD, Medical Director, Waterleaf, Edward Cancer Center
• Pregnancy Resource Center

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES:
 

About the Illinois Women's Health and Life Alliance
The Illinois Women's Health and Life Alliance is a coalition of Illinois and national leaders who have come together to protect women's health and life in Illinois. Represented by two national public interest law firms, the Illinois Women's Health and Life Alliance is comprised of thirty Illinois citizen organizations, physicians, and medical pregnancy center organizations, and national physician and pregnancy center associations with Illinois members.