Illinois Senate Democrats passed a radical pro-abortion bill Friday that could shut down pro-life pregnancy resource centers, eliminating the vital services they provide to pregnant and parenting families in need.

Pro-abortion lawmakers claim they want to stop “deceptive practices,” but pro-life advocates say the legislation really would be used to close pregnancy centers that help moms and save unborn babies from the abortion industry’s billion-dollar killing practice, according to The Federalist.

The Deceptive Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers Act (Senate Bill 1909) passed the Democrat-controlled state Senate on Friday in a 36-19 vote and now moves to the state House for consideration. A companion bill, House Bill 2463, also was filed.

“This act is intended to shut us down. Never in our 14-year history have I seen anything so shocking,” Kelly Rozanski, board president and co-founder of Waterleaf Women’s Center, told The Federalist.

Rozanski said her pregnancy center, based in Aurora, provides a safe space and accurate information from licensed professionals – all for free – to women in need.

However, state Sen. Celina Villanueva, D-Chicago, one of the lead sponsors, said the bill would protect women against “deceptive, fraudulent and misleading practices” as they make “autonomous” decisions about their “reproductive health.”

ACTION ALERT: To oppose this radical bill, Contact Illinois state lawmakers.

In a statement Thursday, Villanueva claimed pregnancy centers make “false claims that abortion causes cancer.” However, she did not provide any evidence to support her claim. What pregnancy centers often inform women considering abortion about is studies that show an increased risk of breast cancer in connection to abortion. This is evidenced-based information, not deception.

But if pro-abortion officials consider it “deception” anyway, pregnancy centers could be slammed with crippling fines of up to $50,000. Most pregnancy centers are small, donor-supported nonprofits that operate on small budgets, and fines that big could force them to close.

The bill gives the state attorney general authority to determine what “appears” to be “deception, fraud, false pretense, false promise, or misrepresentation, or the concealment, suppression, or omission of any material fact.”

Jonathan Alban of the Illinois Family Institute said the bill defines “deceptive” “only by the crisis pregnancy center’s unwillingness to perform abortions.”

“These bills stand to be incredibly damaging to the pro-life movement in Illinois and would likely result in the closure of many crisis pregnancy centers,” Alban said. “And of course, if these bills pass, it won’t stop at the crisis pregnancy centers—the next bill will prevent churches and pastors from preaching against murder or counseling their parishioners not to seek abortions.”

There are clear double standards in the bill, too. Here’s more from The Federalist:

The act explicitly states a “limited services pregnancy center” is one that “does not directly provide abortions.” Although abortion facilities do not provide pregnancy services such as delivering babies, they are not considered “limited” according to the act and thus are not in its crosshairs.

By the bill’s logic, a pregnancy center could provide actual prenatal care — pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, prenatal visits, nutrition and lifestyle counseling, mental and spiritual guidance, and STD tests — but still be considered “limited” if it refuses to perform abortions. Meanwhile, a Planned Parenthood facility could provide nothing except abortions, and the bill would consider it a full-service pregnancy center.

Public opposition to the pro-abortion measure has been strong. The report pointed to 8,725 public comments submitted to the Senate in opposition to the bill, compared to just 2,652 in support.

If the legislation passes, pro-life organizations likely will sue.

Pro-life pregnancy resource centers serve as havens of information and support for pregnant mothers and unborn babies, bucking against a society that claims killing unborn babies in abortions is safe, normal and good.

At these community-based charities, women learn that there are risks to abortion. They learn about their unborn baby’s development and receive financial and emotional support. And these organizations provide evidence-based information that women may not learn anywhere else, especially not at an abortion facility.

According to an analysis by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, they have helped save more than 800,000 unborn babies from abortion since 2016. The research found U.S. pregnancy resource centers served about 2 million people in 2019, providing more than 730,000 pregnancy tests, nearly half a million ultrasounds, 1.3 million packs of diapers and more than 2 million baby outfits, all for free.

But because they share the truth, pregnancy centers have become a target of attacks, from arson and vandalismto legislationto media hit pieces and slanderous pro-abortion campaigns.

ACTION ALERT: To oppose this radical bill, Contact Illinois state lawmakers.

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