While we at Americans United for Life promote pro-life legislation because we know it saves lives, there are times when some of the bills we champion apparently put abortion advocates in a tough spot.
On Saturday, the Illinois Choice Action Team, a state affiliate of NARAL, sent an email to their supporters noting their opposition to three bills currently pending before the Illinois legislature:
Three bills which would adversely impact access to women’s health care have been assigned to the Illinois House Agriculture Committee. They could have a hearing as soon as the afternoon of Tuesday, March 8.
– HB 1919 mandates the procedure for performing an ultrasound prior to abortion and requires data to be compiled by the Illinois Department of Public Health. The bill includes a medically unnecessary one hour waiting period.
– HB 2093 mandated that almost all employees and volunteers of organizations that provide reproductive health care or sex education must report child abuse to the Department of Children and Family Services or face criminal penalties. (Now only certain professionals like doctors, nurses, social workers, and teachers have this legal obligation.)
– HB 3156 mandates that Ambulatory Surgical Treatment Centers that provide abortion care must follow all of the ASTC regulations. The bill is contrary to the federal court decree in Ragsdale v. Turnock and could result in costly litigation for the State
Also, there is still time to call the members of the Agriculture Committee and tell them: “Vote no on HB 1919, HB 2093, and HB 3156.”
HB 2093, partially based on AUL’s model the Child Protection Act, expands who is a mandatory reporter of suspected sexual abuse to everyone inside an abortion facility. We created this model because we learned that some abortion facilities will intentionally intake a girl who is under the age of consent for sex (and thus is likely in an abusive sexual relationship) with someone who is not a mandatory reporter of suspected sexual abuse (such as a volunteer or administrative assistant) and then pass the girl off to the professional staff without any of the information (such as her age) that would spark a mandatory reporting incident. The abortionist and his nurse can avoid being required to comply with the law and the gravy train keeps rolling as abusers are able to continue to molest and impregnate the young.
Less than 48 hours after this email went out, the Illinois Choice Action Team had second thoughts:
Our apologies for another email and we do not wish to bombard you but we feel this is important. In response to comments, feedback, and our own concerns regarding bill 2093, we at the Illinois Choice Action Team have removed our name from the Reproductive Health and Access Act coalition of opposing organizations for Illinois House bill 2093. We understand the bill context however, when it comes to the issue of reporting child abuse we would rather any case seen be reported and so we are withdrawing our name.
We have the fact sheet for HB2093 and if you are interested, we would be happy to send it to you.
Illinois Choice Action Team
Those who continue to oppose HB 2093 include Planned Parenthood of Illinois, who has this shocking statement on their website in a form letter people can send to their state legislators:
HB 2093 requires office staff and volunteers of organizations that provide reproductive health care or sex education to be mandated reporters of child abuse. All doctors, nurses and teachers are already mandated reporters. Therefore, these organizations are already legally required to make reports. This bill creates redundant regulations that have the potential to overload the Department of Children and Family Services. [Emphasis added]
I guess the only thing worse than not reporting suspected sexual abuse of minors is the fact that the government might get overloaded with requests to protect our kids. God forbid….