Baptist group, 2 businesses sue Illinois over law forcing them to cover abortions

by Bryan Brammer · Jun 12th, 2020 1:25 pm

A Baptist group and two local businesses on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the state of Illinois over a law that requires health insurance policies to provide coverage for abortion procedures.

The Illinois Baptist State Association; Southland Smiles, Ltd.; and Rock River Cartage, Inc. claim the Reproductive Health Act violates the state's Religious Freedom Restoration Act due to the plaintiffs' religious convictions.

"Plaintiffs believe that they cannot facilitate access to, subsidize, or otherwise materially cooperate with the provision of abortion without violating their conscience and most sacred and solemn obligations to God, betraying their professed religious faith, and disserving the best interests of their fellow human beings," the lawsuit reads.

The lawsuit cites Sec. 356z.4a as the point of contention, which reads:

"...No individual or group policy of accident and health insurance that provides pregnancy-related benefits may be issued, amended, delivered, or renewed in this State... unless the policy provides a covered person with coverage for abortion care."

The Thomas More Society, the law firm representing the Baptist association and the businesses, said it believes Illinois officials have remained silent on the issue for too long.

"Radical partisans have forced employers of faith in Illinois into a terrible choice: either pay for the intentional termination of unborn children, or leave your employees' families and your own without health insurance," TMS Vice President and Senior Counsel Peter Breen said. "The United States Supreme Court has repeatedly condemned this sort of government coercion against people of faith..."


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