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SB1909 Update and Implications for Pregnancy Resource Centers

We recently shared a legislation update regarding Illinois Senate Bill 1909. In a vote on May 10th, the bill passed the House of Representatives and is expected to be signed by Governor Pritzker. Learn more below about what this bill entails and how it may impact the life-saving work of pregnancy centers across the state. 

Caring Network has seven pregnancy resource centers across the Chicagoland area. Our work is more vital than ever – to reach women facing unexpected pregnancies and help save the lives of their children. As the legislative landscape becomes more difficult to navigate, would you consider partnering with us in our work? Our vision is to open affiliate clinics across the state to help reach those most in need of our services. Learn more today!

What Is SB1909 or the “Deceptive Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers Act?”

According to the summary, this bill: “Prohibits a limited services pregnancy center from using or employing any deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, or misrepresentation, or the concealment, suppression, or omission of any material fact, with the intent that others rely upon the concealment, suppression or omission of such material fact: to interfere with an individual seeking to gain entry or access to a provider of abortion or emergency contraception; to induce an individual to enter or access the limited services pregnancy center; in advertising, soliciting, or otherwise offering pregnancy-related services; or in conducting, providing, or performing pregnancy-related services.”

What Are the Implications of SB1909 for Pregnancy Resource Centers?

  • Pregnancy center staff may be required to refer women to an abortion clinic, even if it goes against their own conscious or the policies of the center.
  • Pregnancy centers could be held liable for the “omission of any material fact” – a broad interpretation that could lead to fines up to $50,000.
  • The bill allows for the Illinois Attorney General to issue a complaint against a pregnancy center if it’s in the “public’s interest.”
  • The Attorney General could then request a court order to “impound” the center’s records, forcing a closure while the investigation continues.
  • Any “aggrieved party” can sue the pregnancy center for a violation of the act.

Check out Illinois Right to Life Action for more info.

What Are the Next Steps for Pregnancy Resource Centers & Supporters?

  • Pray: Pray for the State of Illinois, our legislators, and Governor Pritzker. Pray for advocacy and legal groups like the Thomas More Society, who will be determining the next steps to protect pro-life organizations and those we serve.
  • Reach out to your legislators: If you’d like to share your opposition to this bill, find out more about how to contact your legislators here.
  • Join us: Regardless of changes in legislation or the culture around us, the mission of Caring Network remains the same. We will continue to reach women considering abortion and help save the lives of their unborn children. Find out more about how you can partner with us in prayer, support, and volunteering today! This work would not be possible without people like you!
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