Windhorst Rejects Changes to Health Care Right of Conscience Act and Parental Notification of Abortion

SPRINGFIELD – State Rep. Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) voted no on the latest attempt by Illinois Democrats to hand more executive authority to Governor JB Pritzker as he continues to issue mask, testing, and vaccine mandates for various sectors of the Illinois economy.

“The Governor’s desire for endless power to manage COVID-19 has now been aided along by his fellow Democrats. For the first time, the legislature has decided to involve itself in managing the pandemic, and right on brand, House Democrats capitulated to the wishes of Governor Pritzker. The administration got caught breaking the Healthcare Right of Conscience law, got sued, and then invoked its partners in the legislature to change the law after the fact.

I believe the right of anyone to cite their conscience or strongly held belief in objecting to performing or receiving a medical procedure or service should be protected. Federal law still allows religious objections, but now, Illinois will not. I am disappointed, especially after more than 50,000 people signed witness slips opposing the bill. Tonight’s removal of the right to conscientious objection is a direct attack on the religious liberties of every Illinois citizen.”

Windhorst says the House also passed controversial legislation that will remove the current requirement that a parent or guardian be notified within 48 hours of a minor child having an abortion.

“I do not believe removing parents from being notified that their minor child is going to have an abortion is in any way the right direction for the State of Illinois. A minor child in Illinois cannot receive a Tylenol at school, get a piercing, a tattoo, watch an R rated movie, or be out past 12:00 AM without being accompanied by a parent or guardian or having that person’s express permission,” Windhorst said. “The law as it currently stands does not require parental consent, it only requires parental notification, and it includes exceptions for medical emergencies and cases of abuse. Removing the parents from a situation where a minor child is going to have an abortion is wrong. I voted no.”

HB 370, the legislative vehicle that changes parental notification has passed both the House and Senate and will now be sent to the governor.