State Representative Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) opposed a controversial bill targeting pregnancy care centers across the State of Illinois passed the House of Representatives on Wednesday evening. The bill purports to target misinformation and fraud at pregnancy care centers, but Windhorst says it will chill the constitutionally protected rights of these centers and potentially prevent them from providing services to women who want them.
“Illinois Democrats have repeatedly passed legislation that removes every shred of regulation of abortion services throughout the past several years. Illinois Democrats do not favor restricting abortion in any way, no matter the stage of pregnancy. Now they have sent legislation to the Governor that is going to impose stiff financial penalties on these pregnancy care centers in cases where the Attorney General’s office will be the sole determiner of what is or is not misinformation and fraud,” Windhorst said.
Under the bill, pregnancy care centers that offer ultrasounds, counseling, and other pregnancy related services would be subject to investigations and potential fines of up to $50,000 per infraction.
“The debate in the House on SB 1909 revealed no specifics as to what a pregnancy care center can and cannot say to their patients, how they can or cannot advertise the services they provide, and very little evidence that this is a widespread problem that requires such a severe legislative reaction,” Windhorst said. “FOIA requests of the Attorney General’s Office revealed that in the last 10 years, there have been zero complaints under the deceptive practices act that would suggest pregnancy care centers are misinforming women and committing fraud.”