CCI issues statement on House passage of 'Reproductive Health Act'

CCI issues statement on House passage of 'Reproductive Health Act'

The Illinois House today passed the misnamed “Reproductive Health Act” on a 64-50 vote, with four lawmakers voting “present.” The measure overhauls abortion law in Illinois and is now embodied in House Floor Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 25.

The vote tally is here. The legislation now goes to the Senate for consideration.

The Catholic Conference of Illinois issued a statement after House passage, which can be read below or here in a PDF and here in Español and here in Polskie.

Catholic Conference Statement on

House Passage of “Reproductive Health Act”

The decision of the Illinois House of Representatives to take up and pass the so-called Reproductive Health Act is a grave tragedy and a collective moral failing. Illinois has previously distinguished itself by recognizing and upholding human dignity. It has welcomed and defended the rights of immigrants and refugees and eliminated the death penalty. It is therefore incomprehensible to us that the General Assembly has prioritized denying protection to the most vulnerable among us by enacting some of the most liberal abortion access laws in the nation. 

The proponents of the so-called Reproductive Health Act have portrayed it as a simple clean-up bill, taking old statutes off the books. This is false. The bill includes new provisions that render any regulation of abortion impossible, strip away standards for – and regulation of – clinics where abortions are performed, and mandate private insurance plans subject to Illinois’ authority cover abortion. 

This Act is an extreme measure, allowing for the abortion of unborn life at any stage of pregnancy and for any reason. It sends a message to everyone in our state that life is cheap. This is a truly sad day for Illinois. We will continue to make our case against such callous disregard for human life whenever it appears in society.  


Declaración de la Conferencia católica de Illinois

sobre la aprobación de la cámara de la “Ley de salud reproductiva”

La decisión de la Cámara de Representantes de Illinois de asumir y aprobar la llamada Ley de Salud Reproductiva es una grave tragedia y un fracaso moral colectivo.  Illinois previamente se ha distinguido a sí mismo al reconocer y mantener la dignidad humana. Ha dado la bienvenida y defendido los derechos de los inmigrantes y refugiados y eliminado la pena de muerte. Por lo tanto, es incomprensible para nosotros que la Asamblea General ha dado prioridad el negar la protección de los más vulnerables entre nosotros al promulgar una de las leyes de acceso al aborto más liberales en la nación.

Los proponentes de la llamada Ley de Salud Reproductiva la han representado como un simple proyecto de ley revisado, sacando viejos estatutos de los libros. Esto es falso. El proyecto de ley incluye nuevas disposiciones que hacen imposible cualquier regulación del aborto, quita estándares para – y regulaciones de– clínicas donde se realizan los abortos, y ordena a los planes de seguro privados sujetos a la autoridad de Illinois a cubrir el aborto.

Esta Ley es una medida extrema, permitiendo el aborto de una vida que no ha nacido en cualquier etapa del embarazo y por cualquier razón. Envía a todos en nuestro estado un mensaje de que la vida es barata. Este es un día verdaderamente triste para Illinois. Continuaremos planteando nuestro caso contra tan cruel desprecio por la vida humana cuando sea que aparezca en la sociedad.


Oświadczenie Katolickiej Konferencji Biskupów Stanu Illinois o

przyjęciu przez Izbę Reprezentantów „Ustawy

o zdrowiu reprodukcyjnym”

Decyzja Izby Reprezentantów Illinois o przyjęciu tak zwanej „Ustawy o zdrowiu reprodukcyjnym” jest poważną tragedią i zbiorowym upadkiem moralnym. Stan Illinois w przeszłości wyróżniał się  szanowaniem godności ludzkiej i obroną człowieka. Wcześniej nasz stan z satysfakcją przyjmował i bronił też praw imigrantów i uchodźców oraz wyeliminował karę śmierci. Dlatego jest dla nas niezrozumiałe, że Zgromadzenie Ogólne za szczególnie ważne uznało odmowę ochrony najbardziej bezbronnych spośród nas i przyjęło jedno z najbardziej liberalnych praw umożliwiających aborcję w całym kraju. 

Zwolennicy tak zwanej „Ustawy o zdrowiu reprodukcyjnym” przedstawili ją po prostu jako jedną z zaległych ustaw, mówiąc, że chodzi tu o usunięcie starych przepisów z ksiąg. To kłamstwo. Ustawa zawiera nowe przepisy, które uniemożliwiają wprowadzanie jakichkolwiek regulacji odnośnie do aborcji, usuwają zasady i regulacje prawne z klinik aborcyjnych, w których dokonywana jest aborcja, jak również nakazują prywatnym programom ubezpieczeniowym podlegającym prawu  Illinois pokrywanie kosztów aborcji. 

Ustawa ta jest środkiem skrajnym, który pozwala przerwać nienarodzone życie na dowolnym etapie ciąży i to z jakiegokolwiek powodu. Wypływa z tego przesłanie dla wszystkich mieszkańców naszego stanu, że życie ludzkie jest niewiele warte. To naprawdę smutny dzień dla stanu Illinois. Będziemy kontynuować naszą walkę przeciwko tak bezwzględnemu lekceważeniu ludzkiego życia zawsze, gdy tylko pojawią się w naszym społeczeństwie jakieś niepokojące oznaki.


CCI issues statement on Senate committee passage of SB 1594

CCI issues statement on Senate committee passage of SB 1594

The Catholic Conference today issued the following statement in response to an Illinois Senate committee giving approval to legislation that would repeal current law allowing parents to be notified when a minor seeks an abortion.

“It is truly tragic the Senate Public Health Committee today approved Senate Bill 1594, which seeks to repeal the Illinois Parental Notice of Abortion Act. Since this law went into effect, the incidence of abortions among minors has dropped 57 percent in Illinois.

“Why would anybody vote for legislation that effectively removes parents and guardians of minors from a major decision that is known to have significant physical and mental after effects?

“Current law makes it illegal for minors in Illinois to use an indoor tanning bed; buy cigarettes, alcohol or lottery tickets; or vote in an election. Are we to believe abortion is somehow less consequential than getting a tan?  

“We urge the full Senate to use reason, support parents and their daughters, and strongly reject this appalling legislation.”


CCI issues statement regarding Illinois attorney general's proposed inquiries into state'’s Catholic dioceses

CCI issues statement regarding Illinois attorney general's proposed inquiries into state'’s Catholic dioceses

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan today announced in a press release that she would contact all of the Catholic dioceses in the state as a follow-up to the release this week of the Pennsylvania grand jury report outlining sexual abuse allegations against more than 300 priests in that state over 70 years and affecting more than 1,000 victims.

“The Catholic Church has a moral obligation to provide its parishioners and the public a complete and accurate accounting of all sexually inappropriate behavior involving priests in Illinois,” Madigan stated in the press release.

The longtime attorney general, who is not running for re-election in November, noted that a review of the Pennsylvania grand jury report indicates that at least seven priests have ties to Illinois.

“The Chicago Archdiocese has agreed to meet with me,” Madigan stated in the release. “I plan to reach out to the other dioceses in Illinois to have the same conversation and expect the bishops will agree and cooperate fully.”

Robert Gilligan, executive director of the Catholic Conference of Illinois, offers the following statement on the upcoming inquiries by the attorney general:

“Since 2002, the six Catholic dioceses in Illinois have followed the procedures and protocols of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People established that year by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. We look forward to working with Attorney General Madigan on these inquiries.”

CCI issues statement on Gov. Bruce Rauner's call to reinstate the death penalty

CCI issues statement on Gov. Bruce Rauner's call to reinstate the death penalty

Gov. Bruce Rauner today called for the reinstatement of the death penalty for individuals convicted of mass shootings or the fatal shooting of a police officer.

His call came in his written amendatory veto of House Bill 1468, which requires a 72-hour waiting period before the purchase of an assault weapon. The governor introduces a new burden of proof — "beyond all doubt" — as opposed to the current "beyond a reasonable doubt" — for those individuals charged with the fatal shooting of a law enforcement officer or a group of people. His full amendatory veto message may be found here.

The death penalty in Illinois was abolished in 2011, following a moratorium placed on the final sentence in 2000 by then Gov. George Ryan, a Republican. The Catholic Conference actively supported the ban of the death penalty, issuing a statement when Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn signed Senate Bill 3539 into law.

The Catholic Conference today issued the following statement in response to the governor's actions, or click here for a PDF version:

We are distressed and alarmed by Gov. Bruce Rauner’s call for the reinstatement of the death penalty in any way, shape or form. His call to put to death individuals convicted of mass shootings or the fatal shooting of a law enforcement officer under proof of “beyond all doubt” instead of “beyond a reasonable doubt” is simply parsing words. You cannot teach killing is wrong by killing. We are all God’s children, and our first – and primary – right to life must always be protected and unconditional.


CCI issues statement on taxpayer-funded abortions becoming law

CCI issues statement on taxpayer-funded abortions becoming law

Gov. Bruce Rauner today announced that he would sign House Bill 40, which authorizes the use of taxpayer monies to pay for elective abortions for Medicaid participants and state employees. He had earlier pledged to veto the bill.

The Catholic Conference of Illinois today released the following statement. Click here for a PDF.

We are deeply disturbed that Governor Rauner has broken his word and firm public promise to veto HB 40. 

Governor Rauner, together with the legislators who voted for this misguided legislation, will now force Illinois taxpayers to pay for the taking of human life, in this case that of a defenseless child in the womb.

We remain dedicated to advocating for the dignity and sanctity of human life from conception to natural death and will work to convince the public and our elected officials about the grave moral error this legislation represents.