BILL ALERT: Witness Slips Needed for HB 581

HB 581 amends the Hospital Emergency Service Act to require hospitals and their medical personnel to provide/suggest abortion as a “stabilizing treatment” for women patients who are pregnant with certain life-threatening conditions.

As you know, the term “life-threatening” is used and abused in these instances. Among the list of conditions they’re including in this amendment is: ectopic pregnancy, complications of pregnancy loss, risks to future fertility, previable preterm premature rupture of membranes (PPROM), or emergent hypertensive disorders, such as preeclampsia. While it’s true that all of these are life-threatening to the woman, none of them are properly treated with an abortion procedure.

State Representative William Hauter – an emergency room physician and anesthesiologist – as well as a pro-life OBGYN we’re working with on this bill, have both said that the conditions above are not treated by abortion, but by recognized medical treatment procedures under the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act (EMTALA). EMTALA is now before the U.S. Supreme Court along with a state that prohibits abortions to see if the new Biden rules on this federal Act affects states that prohibit abortions. That’s why we believe they’re moving forward with this bill.

The bill was initially amended to say that abortion was a “hospital emergency service” “to resolve the patient’s injury or acute medical condition that is liable to cause death or severe injury or serious illness.” Medical emergencies override the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act which protect pro-life hospitals and pro-life medical personnel from doing something against their religious beliefs or consciences. However, the next amendment #2 removed abortion as a “hospital emergency service” and so the Health Care Right of Conscience Act still protects our hospitals and physicians.