Illinois AG Backs Off Crackdown On Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers

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Kate Anderson Contributor
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Democratic Attorney General Kwame Raoul of Illinois announced Monday that he filed a motion agreeing not to enforce a state law that targeted pregnancy centers for using alleged “deceptive acts” to lead women away from getting an abortion.

The law, Senate Bill 1909, was signed by Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker in July and would punish pro-life pregnancy centers with $50,000 for using alleged “deceptive acts or practices” to prevent women from gaining access to abortion or “induce” a woman to use the services of the pregnancy center. Raoul, however, announced this week that his office had filed an order that would prevent the law from being enforced after a district court judge ruled in August that the law was “stupid” and “likely unconstitutional.” (RELATED: ‘A Cynical Strategy’: Less Than Two Years After Dobbs, Abortion Is Headed To The Supreme Court Again)

“As filed, this proposed order is agreed to by the parties in this case and in no way affects my ongoing work protecting women’s rights to access the full range of reproductive health services,” Raoul wrote. “Furthermore, this proposed order does not alter Illinois’ Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Practices Act or my office’s preexisting authority under the act, and I remain committed to protecting consumers against all deceptive practices.”

National Institute of Family and Life Advocates filed a lawsuit against the state on July 27, the same day the law was signed, according to the Thomas More Society (TMS), which represents NIFLA in the case. Judge Iain Johnston of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois issued a temporary injunction in August preventing the law from going into effect, claiming that it was very likely in violation of the constitution, according to WTTW, a local media outlet.

TMS applauded the attorney general’s decision in a press release Monday, saying that the “victory” was a “significant win for pro-life ministries.”

“The federal court was spot on in holding that SB 1909 is ‘both stupid and very likely unconstitutional,’” Peter Breen, executive vice president and senior counsel for Thomas More Society, said. “SB 1909 exempts abortion facilities and their speech, while exclusively regulating pro-life organizations and their speech, in flagrant violation of the First Amendment. This law is just one of a number of illegal new laws enacted across the country that restrict pro-life speech—we hope this permanent injunction, with full attorney’s fees, serves as a warning to other states that would seek to follow Illinois and try to silence pro-life viewpoints.”

The AG’s office did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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