Earlier today, the House Human Services Committee approved and sent to the House floor, Senate Bill 1564, an amendment to the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act. The measure was sponsored by Representative Robyn Gabel. The proposal, which already has passed the Senate on a bipartisan vote (34-19), amends the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act to ensure that patients get all the information they need in order to make the best decisions about their health care treatment. The bill's language reflects a compromise between the ACLU, the Catholic Conference, the Catholic Health Care Association and the Illinois State Medical Society.

The following can be attributed to Lorie Chaiten, Director of the ACLU of Illinois Reproductive Rights Project:

We are pleased that Senate Bill 1564 received such broad support in the Committee this morning. This critical legislation carefully balances the need of patients to get full and complete information about their medical condition with the ability of health care providers to refuse services and care to which they have a religious or moral objection.

At the same time, we were happy to have a public opportunity to address the false and misleading claims that some opponents have registered about Senate Bill 1564 in recent days. The measure does not force anyone to participate in or refer for abortion. And passage of the bill does not put Illinois at risk of losing federal funds.

We thank Representative Robyn Gabel for her leadership and look forward to approval of Senate Bill 1564 by the full House of Representatives.