State Representative Chris Bos (R-Lake Zurich) issued the following statement in response to the Illinois House Democratic majority passing legislation to weaken the Health Care Right of Conscience Act (HCRCA) at the behest of Governor J.B. Pritzker.
“The action taken by the Illinois House tonight to diminish protections for sincerely held religious and moral beliefs is truly sad,” said Bos. “For many years, Illinois has actually been an example to the nation for how to protect religious and moral freedoms through the Health Care Right of Conscience Act. Instead of respecting these fundamental rights essential to our democracy, it is the latest right to be reduced for political motivation at the urging of Governor Pritzker. It’s even more sad because more than 50,000 Illinoisans and organizations who filed witness slips in opposition to this legislation had their voices completely ignored by the majority today.
“Our democracy works because we respect sincerely held beliefs and embrace the benefit different beliefs offer our society. Those benefits are lost when we create laws that deliberately prevent people from following their beliefs if it doesn’t always conform to the popular view of the majority political party. The people deserve better.”
Additional information updated Friday, October 29:
The Health Care Right of Conscience Act (HCRCA) protects individuals’ ability to cite a “sincerely held set of moral convictions arising from belief in and relation to God, or which, though not so derived, arises from a place in the life of its possessor parallel to that filled by God among adherents to religious faiths.”
The HCRCA prohibits “all forms of discrimination, disqualification, coercion, disability or imposition of liability upon such persons or entities by reason of their refusing to act contrary to their conscience or conscientious convictions in providing, paying for, or refusing to obtain, receive, accept, deliver, pay for, or arrange for the payment of health care services and medical care.”
This week, House Republicans spoke out against legislation that would remove the right of objection to certain mandates because of a religious or conscience point of view.
Senate Bill 1169, backed by Governor JB Pritzker, infringes on an individual’s right to make his or her own health care decisions. In an unprecedented action, more than 50,000 individuals filed witness slips in opposition to this legislation, but were summarily ignored. After a lengthy debate, SB 1169 narrowly passed the Illinois House of Representatives by a vote of 64-52-2, with some Democrats joining Republicans to vote No.
Any proposal to reduce the freedom of religion of the people of the State of Illinois can be construed as an attack on the history, heritage, and firmly held beliefs of people of every race, color, creed, and religious background. Many consider calling this an overreach of government authority to be an understatement.
Diminishing the protections of the HCRCA gives Governor Pritzker even more power over the private health care decisions of Illinois citizens, police, and first responders.