By Dave Andrusko
The leadership of the Catholic Church in Illinois held a press conference Thursday at the state Capitol in Springfield to blast a bundle of abortion-related bills in the General Assembly as “dangerous” and “mounting challenges to human dignity.”
“One measure would repeal a law mandating a minor notify her parent or guardian before getting an abortion,” according to reporter Rebecca Anzel of The State Journal-Register. “The other would repeal the state’s abortion law and replace it with language creating reproductive health care as a fundamental right.”
Writing for The Crux, Jacob Comello explained that Catholic Conference of Illinois Director Bob Gilligan told reporters “in no uncertain terms that ‘we are here today to oppose these bills.’”
The Senate and House bills Gilligan is referring to are S.B. 1942 and H.B. 2495. Either, if passed, would greatly alter current Illinois law. In the text of S.B. 1942 are clauses that “(provide) that a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have independent rights under the laws of this state” and clauses that “repeal the Abortion Performance Refusal Act,” current law that allows physicians to opt-out of providing abortion provided they have moral objections.
At the press conference, which was livestreamed, Cardinal Blase Cupich, who was joined by the bishops of Belleville, Joliet, Peoria, Rockford, and Springfield, asked
“Does the state of Illinois really want to become a place where people are forced to do things in their workplace that are against their most deeply held beliefs?”
“Wherever we turn today, we encounter mounting efforts to treat the lives of men, women, and children as mere means to a larger and allegedly more important goal. … “It is in this context that we must view this proposed legislation as the latest attack on human dignity.”
Cardinal Cupich said it is “critically important” for state lawmakers to oppose the legislation.
As is the case with other radical pro-abortion proposals, they come in states where the “right” to abortion found in Roe is already encased in protective state laws.
For example, Anzel reported, Cardinal Cupich “said protections guaranteed by Roe v. Wade were enshrined in Illinois law when former Gov. Bruce Rauner signed into law House Bill 40, which allows tax dollars to be spent on abortion procedures through Illinois’ Medicaid and state employee health insurance programs. ‘What, then, is the problem this legislation solves?’ he asked.”
Dr. Jillian Stalling, an OB-GYN with OSF HealthCare, who also serves as the Illinois director for the Catholic Medical Association, spoke after Cardinal Cupich, Comello reported.
Stalling condemned the bill as forcing health care professionals to choose between their conscience or career, and ended on a personal note, revealing her love of the profession: “I love taking care of women and delivering babies. If this legislation passes, I am not going to leave the medical profession … but I will refuse to perform an abortion.”
Cardinal Cupich described the proposals as “not about the issue of a right to an abortion, although we would question that, but it is about vacating any rights or dignity that … were not decided by Roe v. Wade …This is coming at it from a different direction.”