A federal judge has granted a preliminary injunction to block a new Illinois law that could shut down pro-life pregnancy centers in the state. The law, signed by Governor J.B. Pritzker, aimed to crack down on “deceptive practices” but has been criticized for potentially closing down charities that offer support to pregnant mothers and save unborn babies from abortion.
The lawsuit, filed by the National Institute of Family Life Advocates and other pro-life ministries, argues that the law targets pregnancy help ministries due to their pro-life message. The federal judge’s decision affirms the protection of free speech and sends a strong message that the First Amendment safeguards pro-life speech.
Pro-life advocates believe that Governor Pritzker signed the law to eliminate competition against abortion businesses. They express confidence that the law will be struck down as unconstitutional.
The new Illinois law prohibits so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” from using “misinformation, deceptive practices, or misrepresentation to interfere with access to abortion services or emergency contraception”. The Illinois Attorney General’s Office is given authority to determine what constitutes deception or omission of material facts. Violators could face fines up to $50,000. The law does not apply to abortion facilities.
The law will silence pro-life advocates and impose fines and injunctions on pregnancy help ministries solely because of their pro-life viewpoint. Pregnancy resource centers offer information and support to women considering abortion, providing them with options and assistance, including education about fetal development and abortion risks.
Pregnancy centers have faced attacks from vandalism to legislation, media campaigns, and arson across the country. The new law in Illinois is an attempt to target pro-life centers because of their opposition to not only abortion, but the buisness of abortion itself.