The U.S. Supreme Court today in a 5-4 vote ruled against a Louisiana law requiring doctors who perform abortions in the state to have admitting privileges in nearby hospitals, four years after striking down an almost-identical Texas law. Chief Justice John Roberts voted with the four liberal-leaning justices in rebuffing the Louisiana law, pointing in a separate concurring opinion to the legal doctrine of stare decisis – the idea that courts should generally not overrule their rulings made in prior cases.
Expecting a push to repeal the current parental notice of abortion law, the Catholic Conference is partnering with the six Illinois dioceses to offer Life Advocacy Days, allowing pro-life pilgrims to lobby lawmakers at the Illinois Capitol on the benefits of the current law.
Executive Director Bob Gilligan discusses the importance of the first 72 hours after an inmate's release with Dr. MaryClare Birmingham of Kolbe House; the Catholic Day of Action for Immigrant Children with Sr. JoAnn Persch; and a new report on American opinions on abortion and contraception with Natalie Jackson of the Public Religion Research Institute.
In the final days of the 2019 legislative session, Illinois lawmakers approved legislation making abortion a fundamental right, legalizing marijuana for recreational use, switching the state's income tax from a flat rate to a graduated rate and to be put before voters in November 2020, expanding gambling with up to six new casinos that include a site in Chicago, legalizing sports betting, doubling the gas tax, hiking annual license plate fees by 50 percent, and increasing cigarette taxes by a dollar a pack. Earlier in the year, legislators OK'd a measure to increase the state's minimum wage to $15 by 2025.
The Illinois Senate late tonight passed the misnamed "Reproductive Health Act" as embodied in Senate Bill 25 on a 34-20 vote, with three lawmakers voting "present." The House previously passed the measure, so the bill now goes to Gov. J.B. Pritzker, who previously has said he will sign it into law. The Catholic Conference of Illinois is not issuing a statement upon final passage, having published statements after House passage and before Senate consideration. However, some of our bishops have issued individual statements, which may be viewed in this website post.