Illinois governor Bruce Rauner (R) signed Senate Bill 1564 into effect July 29. SB 1564 states that any medical personnel—physicians, pregnancy help centers, and hospitals—must refer patients who are seeking pregnancy terminations to a facility that can perform the procedure or provide the patient with appropriate information regarding her options. Many facilities, such as hospitals that operate under the rules of the Catholic Church, will refuse such services to a patient or fail to refer them to a facility. Some even refuse to give information or materials about providers that will perform abortions.
This new bill, which goes against the grain of traditional Republican views came as a pleasant surprise for the women of Illinois. Many pro-life groups as well as other republican politicians spoke to Gov. Rauner in an effort to sway his decision to get him to veto the bill. Thankfully, now that this law is in effect, medical providers will no longer have the choice to give selective information based on religious or personal views.
Taking up a profession in the medical field means that you should be unbiased and always have the patient’s best interest and health in mind. Refusing to give an abortion provider’s information to a pregnant woman who has complications with her pregnancy or simply chooses to have an abortion is unprofessional; especially if the complications are dangerous to the health of the woman. In many cases, physicians and medical staff will do this if their personal beliefs conflict with what the patients want
This is a positive step in the right direction to promote safe access to reproductive healthcare.