In October 2019, Southern Illinois District President Rev. Timothy Scharr refocused the district’s commitment to life issues with the creation of a task force called the Advocates for Life Team. The appointed leadership consists of Monica Shannon as coordinator and Robin Schultze as administrator. The team’s vision is a world without the cavalier killing of human life from the time of conception to natural death.
Relying on the help of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, the team’s mission is to provide members of our district congregations with information on the unique challenges in Illinois as well as the valuable resources available to support our God given pro-life values.
Did you know that on June 12, 2019, the Reproductive Health Act (IL SB-25) became law in Illinois. This legislation is considered the most radical pro-abortion law in the country. While the entire legislation can be viewed at ilga.gov/legislation/publicacts/101/101-0013.htm, here are a few important highlights (provided by Illinois Right to Life Action).
Creates a fundamental right to abortion (pages 4-5 of SB-25). SB-25 trumps all other state laws and policies “whether adopted before or after the effective date of this Act.” This law prohibits all state actions that would “deny, restrict, interfere with or discriminate against an individual’s exercise of the rights granted by this law,” including late term abortions.
Re-defines “fetal viability” and “health of the patient” (page 3). Fetal viability is now determined by the health care provider. If he or she decides that an unborn child cannot survive outside the uterus without the application of extraordinary medical measures, that unborn child can be destroyed.
Jeopardizes enforcement of the Parental Notice of Abortion Act (page 7). The proponents of SB-25 believe that the parental notice act “interferes” with a minor’s decision to have an abortion. While a minor must have parental permission to take Tylenol in school, this law could allow a minor to kill her unborn child without parental notification.
Would effectively eliminate licensing and health and safety inspections of abortion clinics (page 59). Infection control measures are no longer monitored in these facilities, meaning that safe, clean, uncontaminated medical instruments and procedure rooms are no longer a requirement in abortion facilities.
Forces all private insurance companies to cover abortions with no exception for churches and other religious institutions (pages 66-67).
Would now allow non-physicians (advanced practice registered nurses) to perform chemical/medical abortions, like the dangerous RU-486, for the first time in Illinois (pages 97 and 100).
Removes language with requirements for physicians if babies are born alive in abortion (by repeal of the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, page 8). SB-25 removes all language requiring health care providers to provide immediate medical care for any child born alive as a result of an abortion. It also removes, from the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, the requirement of the physician to use the method of abortion which would most likely preserve the life and health of the unborn child.
Removes any independent rights of a fertilized egg, embryo or fetus under the laws of this Act (page 5).
Removes the law prohibiting “referral fees” or kickbacks for abortion referrals. (By repeal of the Illinois Abortion Law of 1975, page 8). Can you imagine a medical provider being paid extra to refer a patient to have her unborn child killed?
Removes the requirement for county coroner’s to investigate a “maternal or fetal death due to abortion” (page 50).
Thoughts from your Advocates for Life Team
SB-25 is not a healthcare law, contrary to the title of the Reproductive Health Act (RHA). Similar to the surreptitious approach used in Planned Parenthood’s opening of the Fairview Heights facility, the Illinois legislators added RHA as an amendment to an unrelated piece of legislation. Despite the outspoken voices of thousands of Illinois citizens who opposed this bill, the vote on RHA took place on the Sunday afternoon of Memorial Day weekend. Five thousand citizens left their holiday celebrations to reiterate what they earlier said to their representatives: “Do not pass this bill!”
Unfortunately, SB-25 passed in both the House of Representatives (64 to 50) and the Senate (34 to 20). Following the signature of the governor, the bill became the law on June 12.
What can we do?
▶ Pray to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
▶ Volunteer to help pro-life groups.
▶ Financially support pregnancy care centers and other pro-life organizations.
▶ Contact your state representative and voice your concerns.
A well-regarded pro-life group, MOSIAC Pregnancy and Health Care Centers, is planning a strategic move of their Belleville office to Fairview Heights. They are negotiating the purchase of a building within two miles of the new Planned Parenthood facility. The proposed new office space offers excellent visibility to better intercept women before they reach the abortion facility. Your donation would assist in the purchase of this new building.
▶Learn more about MOSAIC: supportmosaic.org or call 618-355-9977.
▶Mail donations to: Mosaic Pregnancy & Health Centers, 2019 Johnson Road, Granite City, IL 62040 (please designate “Fairview Heights” on your check.
▶Online donations can be made at supportmosaic.org/donate (please select Fairview Heights as the designation.
The Advocates for Life Team is actively seeking members within our district to join the effort to advocate for life and serve our neighbor. For more information, contact Monica at firstname.lastname@example.org or Robin at email@example.com.