Springfield | Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker has signed into law 240 of the 655 bills passed by the Illinois General Assembly in the spring legislative session, but not SB 1909, titled the Deceptive Practices of Limited Services Pregnancy Centers Act. Unless it is vetoed by Pritzker within 60 days of being sent to him for his signature, the bill governing advice given by pregnancy resource centers will become law. That includes GraceHaven Pregnancy Resource Clinic, a pro-life ministry operated by the Baptist Children’s Home and Family Services in Mt. Vernon.
SB 1909 was sent to the governor’s desk June 9, meaning it will become law on August 8 and will go into effect immediately. It will require more than 100 such pro-life ministries to provide information about abortions to their clients. Failure to do so could result in fines of up to $50,000 for providing what abortion advocates deemed “deceptive” information.
Pro-life advocates say the legislation does not clearly define deceptive information or who would make that determination. They also say it unfairly targets religious speech in violation of the First and Fourteenth amendments of the U.S. Constitution, because many centers are operated by religious organizations or charities.
The bill’s opponents are expected to file an injunction to stop it when it goes into effect. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned a similar bill in California in 2018, declaring in NIFLA v. Becerra that the measure unfairly targeted pregnancy centers.
Another bill still awaiting the governor’s signature is HB 2297, which mandates state agencies track the number of their employees who identify as non-binary or gender non-conforming as part of the state’s effort to further workplace diversity. It was sent to the governor June 16 with a scheduled effective date of July 1, 2025.
Among the bills already signed by the governor are:
- HB 1591 – (Marriage) Removed what some referred to as “outdated provisions” from the Illinois Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage Act. The bill is intended to guarantee same sex marriages performed in Illinois remain legal in other states should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn Obergefell v. Hodges. Effective date: January 1, 2024.
- HB 1596 – (Pronouns) Replaces pronouns in existing laws related to children in the state’s care. These include the word “mother” which becomes “person who gives birth” and the descriptor “biological” becomes “birth” as in “birth family.” Effective date: August 8.
- HB 2418 – (Trafficking) Provides a way for the victims of human trafficking to have their criminal record expunged. Effective date: January 1, 2024
- HB 3425 – (Bullying notification) Requires schools to inform parents and guardians of students involved in an act of bullying of the incident within 24 hours or to make a good faith effort to do so. Effective immediately.