Illinois Health Care Right of Conscious Act may nullify Biden mandates
ILLINOIS — The Illinois state law–the Health Care Right of Conscience Act–enacted in 1998 could come into focus next month during the fall veto session as Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s (D) Covid-19 testing and vaccine mandate by either local entities of Illinois government or Joe Biden (D) himself. Some worry Illinois lawmakers may attempt to take Illinoisan’s rights away to force the Covid-19 vaccine mandates by the tyrannical Democrats of Biden, Pritzker, and Lightfoot.
Illinois’ Health Care Right of Conscience Act is one of the nation’s broadest.
“It is the public policy of the State of Illinois to respect and protect the right of conscience of all persons who refuse to obtain, receive or accept, or who are engaged in, the delivery of, arrangement for, or payment of health care services and medical care.”
The Illinois State law passed the Health Care Right of Conscience Act. (HCRCA) gives individuals protection from submitting to medical healthcare things they object to. The HCRCA demands individuals are not discriminated against in their public or private sector jobs for refusing a medical procedure for which they have a conscientious objection.
Part of that 1998 law reads,
“It shall be unlawful for any public or private employer … to impose any burdens in terms or conditions of employment on, or to otherwise discriminate against … on account of the applicant’s refusal to receive, obtain, accept, perform, counsel, suggest, recommend, refer, assist or participate in any way in any forms of health care services contrary to his or her conscience.”
Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker issued a Covid-19 vaccine mandate in August. The mandate for workers in Illinois’ healthcare sector, educators from pre-K through college and college students.
He almost immediately delayed it but now, per Pritzker’s mandate, teachers and health care employees are to have received a first Covid-19 vaccine dose by September 19th or undergo regular testing; similar requirements are to kick in mid-November for state employees who work in congregate settings.
Teachers and police officers are two other groups of professionals refusing to submit to the Covid-19 vaccine mandates. They are using the 1998 Illinois HCRCA statute to skirt compliance with state and city mandates in Illinois. The statute specifically includes the term ‘testing’ which those relying on the law to protect them from Democrat’s tyrannical mandates believe bolsters their legal stance.
Meanwhile, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot (D), hungry for some MSM facetime, put her own mandate in place for Chicago city employees, including, police.
She is sticking to her October 15th deadline and received instant blowback from the Chicago Police Union. Illinois Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) President Chris Southwood has been made aware of conversations about changing the HCRCA in Springfield. Lawmakers return for a veto session later this month.
“There have been some discussions with the governor’s office as far as making changes to the Health Care Right of Conscience Act, I can assure there absolutely have been discussions regarding that.”
He has concerns lawmakers could come back and reduce individuals’ rights under the HCRCA law. Southwood had COVID-19 himself last year. He decided not to get the vaccine after talking with this doctor about relying on virus antibodies and natural immunity. Southwood believes Chicago’s leadership should focus on crime prevention rather than vaccine mandates.
“At some point along the line we need to get our priorities straight and violent crime to me, certainly as it affects children – and I’m talking children here – is far more of a concern for law enforcement than Covid-19’s effect on children,” Southwood said.
Southwood noted the law enforcement officers are not necessarily anti-vaccine. Instead, they are being pushed into being ‘anti-forced vaccine.’ He warned there could be resignations and early retirements of law enforcement officers in Illinois over vaccine mandates.
As Mayor Lightfoot’s Chicago has become a killing field for Chicago youth, losing more police in Chicago will be devastating.
“Hopefully it won’t happen, hopefully, this law will stand up and it will prevent our members from being forced to get the vaccine or the testing,” Southwood said.
The FOP will be actively opposing changes to what Southwood says are the strongest protections for people’s rights and his union will hold lawmakers accountable that try to modify or change the 1998 bill.
“We want General Assembly members to know that if you vote for changes in [the HCRCA] we’re going to make sure that your constituents are aware that you’re voting to support these mandated vaccines or the testing.”
Southwood says the Chicago FOP case may serve as a test case in Illinois court. Chicago is the FOP’s largest lodge in the state.
Those in Illinois’ education system are also objecting even though the two main teachers’ unions, the Illinois Education Association (IEA) and Illinois Federation of Teachers (IFT), have not taken the lead.
Jacksonville school Superintendent Steve Ptacek published a letter he sent Governor Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Education. He stated his district won’t be excluding staff without additional clarity. Ptacek outlined his dilemma;
“If we exclude staff that are not complying with Executive Order 2021-20, we assume substantial legal risk, but if we do not exclude employees, we are in defiance of an executive order.”
Defying Governor Pritzker’s orders could lead to the Illinois State Board of Education putting the district on probation. This would cause a reduction in state funding to the district. Superintendent Ptacek’s letter noted he can’t risk taxpayer resources on lawsuits challenging the governor’s mandate under the HCRCA law that will create legal liabilities for his district.
The Illinois State Board of Education, meanwhile, remains steadfast,
“School personnel who decline both vaccination and testing must be excluded from the school premises.”
The school board of Nauvoo-Colusa Consolidated School District 325 recently upheld conscientious objections against vaccines or testing. Nauvoo-Colusa is already on probation with the ISBE for refusing to abide by Governor Pritzker’s mask mandate.
Meanwhile, Joe Biden’s mandate vaccine deadline is November 22nd
This mandate will include most Federal employees and Federal contractors as well as all businesses with at least 100 employees. It is being challenged with litigation all over the country by multiple groups and individuals.
In a truly disturbing twist to this unconstitutional illegal edict, two Supreme Court justices have rejected case reviews without explanation.
In August, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett declined to block Indiana University’s vaccine mandate for its students without explanation. Barrett was a Trump appointee.
This impacts 130,000 people of the university.
In September, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied a request from New York City teachers hoping to get a last-minute injunction to stop New York Mayor DeBlasio’s (D) vaccine mandate for educators and school staff. Sotomayor was a Clinton appointee.
This impacts 150,000 people of the district.
People are announcing they will quit their jobs or the universities.
What is truly disturbing is both justices did not provide explanations for their decisions. Thus implying the decisions were corrupt and indefensible. Particularly when held up next to the Constitution of the United States of America with its amended Bill of Rights.
Ironically the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has been less than supportive for those wishing to challenge the Covid-19 related mandates. Again, it begs the question; Just who’s civil liberties are they really concerned about?
Ameri Klafeta, director of the ACLU of Illinois’ Women’s and Reproductive Rights Project, said,
“The way this act was written, it was always intended to apply to health care professionals, people who are delivering health care services. What we’re seeing now is a really unprecedented expansion, or attempt to expand, the protections of the law and really turning it on its head.”
Klafeta thinks this expansion of the right of conscience law will face legal challenges. She states the intent of the law was to protect pharmacists from not filling orders for birth control pills. Or doctors and nurses from performing abortions based on their personal religious beliefs.
That may be the intent. However, according to Klafeta, the law does not express it in that narrow of a lane.
Lead Cartoon by Branco: https://comicallyincorrect.com/a-f-branco-cartoon-captain-oblivious/
About the author:
Mark Schwendau is a conservative Christian patriot and retired technology professor (CAD-CAM and web development). He prides himself on his critical thinking ability. Schwendau has had a long sideline of newspaper editorial writing where he used the byline, “bringing little known facts to people who want to know the truth.”
Mark is “on alternative free speech social media platforms after lifetime bans from Facebook and Twitter and shadow bans from Instagram and Fox News commenting.
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