Rep. Paul Jacobs (R-Pomona)
“The Right of Conscience has long been a part of American life and culture…until today,” Jacobs said. “This new law sets a dangerous precedence. Today, it is COVID-19 protocols that are exempt from individuals’ right of conscience. What will we exempt in the future, and do we trust the current leadership in Springfield to be the ones to make that decision? Today is a dark day in Illinois.”
(WSIL) -- At the request of the Attorney General, Governor JB Pritzker Monday signed SB 1169 into law. The law clarifies the legislative intent of the Health Care Right of Conscience Act, to avoid abuse or misinterpretation.
The Health Care Right of Conscience Act was originally enacted to allow medical professionals to refuse to receive or participate in healthcare services that are contrary to their personal beliefs, including religious or moral objections to specific services, such as abortion.
The amendment, signed by the governor, states that vaccine requirements from entities like schools, employers, state and local governments do not violate the act because they help mitigate the spread of deadly, communicable diseases like COVID-19.
The law has become a basis for lawsuits challenging employers who enforce rules requiring testing for or inoculation against the coronavirus.
“Masks, vaccines, and testing requirements are life-saving measures that keep our workplaces and communities safe,” said Governor JB Pritzker. “Keeping workplaces safe is a high priority, and I applaud the General Assembly for ensuring that the Health Care Right of Conscience Act is no longer wrongly used against institutions who are putting safety and science first.”
SB 1169 is effective June 1, 2022.