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Illinois Catholic Bishops speak out against changes to state abortion legislation

Thursday, Illinois Catholic bishops joined together at the Capitol to speak out against potential changes in state abortion laws.

Illinois lawmakers are considering a repeal of a law that requires minors to tell a parent or guardian about their choice to get an abortion. The Catholic Church has said it’s important for parents to be involved in a decision that has physical and mental side effects.

Thursday, Cardinal Blase Cupich of Chicago said the current parental notification requirement can be waived if the court finds a minor mature and well-informed to have an abortion.

Cupich went on to say, “Let’s not speculate about things that might not or are unlikely to occur. Let’s look at the very real consequences of this legislation.”

In addition, Illinois lawmakers are considering the creation of a state law that would specify that a fertilized egg, embryo, or fetus does not have rights under the law. The bishops recognized this law would ensure the right to an abortion in the event Roe v. Wade was ever overturned. The bishops also argued it is unfair to healthcare workers who would be forced to comply with abortion procedures.

“Does the state of Illinois really what to become a place where people are forced to do things in their workplace that are against their most deeply held beliefs,” Cupich asked.

One physician from OSF Healthcare in Peoria also said the new law would be unfair to doctors who are morally opposed to the procedure. Dr. Jillian Stalling said she has seen what abortion can do to a patient after the fact.

She pointed to a case where she saw a patient after she’d been to an abortion provider, “The reasonings for doing that abortion were depression. Nowhere in my medical training listed under the treatments for depression is an abortion. So those women weren’t provided the actual support they needed.”

Both laws are in committee now.

The ACLU also released a statement on the issue saying:

“The Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act, which is unaffected by this legislation – continues to protect health care providers from participating in any care that inconsistent with their religious and moral beliefs… Suggesting otherwise is simply not true.”

Molly Jirasek

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