Illinois sued over new law requiring Christian crisis pregnancy centers to tell patients about abortion

Christian crisis pregnancy centers have filed a lawsuit against Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner and other state officials over a new law which requires them to include abortion in the available options that they are presenting to their pregnant patients.

(REUTERS / Larry Downing / File Photo)Illinois Gov-elect Bruce Rauner speaks to the media after a meeting with U.S. President Barack Obama and other Governor-elects from seven U.S. states at the White House in Washington December 5, 2014.

Illinois' right-of-conscience law was modified to require physicians and nurses to tell their pregnant patients of all their options including abortion. However, Christian crisis pregnancy centers say the change violates their free speech rights. They also contend that the new law, which took effect on Jan. 1, goes against laws that prohibit discrimination against anti-abortion heath care workers, the Chicago Tribune detailed.

"A pro-life physician cannot in good conscience do that," said nonprofit religious liberty law firm Thomas More Society's attorney Thomas Olp.

Atty. Olp further explained that pro-life physicians think that referring a patient to abortion is "material involvement in something that's inherently evil." For this reason, the 1st Way Pregnancy Support Services in McHenry County, the Pregnancy Aid South Suburbs, and crisis pregnancy center worker Dr. Ronald Schroeder filed the lawsuit against Illinois.

Obstetrician Robert Lawler, who appeared on "Tucker Carlson Tonight," said the new law clearly violated people's conscience rights, and this was the reason why he was also challenging the legislation. He said the mother and the unborn child are both his patients, and he could not refer one of them to an execution and the other to a lifetime of regret, Fox News Insider relayed.

American Civil Liberties Union, which pushed for the changes in the right-of-conscience law, insisted that patients need to be informed about all their treatment options. The organization's director of women's and reproductive rights project in Illinois, Lorie Chaiten, said there were people who were denied of the needed care because they did not find out about all their options "until they were suffering."

In response to the case, Gov. Rauner's office said it is "focused on passing a balanced budget with reforms to create jobs, lower property taxes, improve schools and enact term limits." However, Olp pointed out that the clinics involved in the lawsuit do not receive state or federal funding.