Illinois: March Legislative Update
From Rev. Bob Vanden Bosch - Concerned Christian Ministries:
God is Good!
Keep Doing Your Part Too!
The March 20th Pro-Life Rally was in inspiration. Thank you for all of you who participated and all of you who prayed. We realize that not everyone can travel to Springfield, but appreciate your support!
The following pieces of legislation have been under consideration.
SB 1594--Repeals the Parental Notification of Abortion Act of 1995, which requires parental notification before a minor receives an abortion. It is on second reading in the Senate. Ask your Senator to vote NO.
HB 2467, which also Repeals the Parental Notification of Abortion Act, has been returned to the House Rules Committee.
SB 1942 and HB 2495--called the Reproductive Health Act, repeals the 1975 Illinois Abortion Law, the Partial Birth Abortion Ban, and remove all regulations for clinics that do abortions. It also allows people other than doctors to do abortions, and removes the right of conscience act for all medical personnel, clinics, and hospitals. SB 1942 failed to pass out of the Senate Executive Committee before the deadline, and has been been reassigned to the Assignments Committee. HB 2495 has been returned to the House Rules Committee.
Usually when bills have been returned to the Senate Assignments Committee or the House Rules Committee, they are considered dead. With legislation that is part of the liberal agenda, that has not necessarily been the case.
HB 3402, which removes the pastoral confidentiality in counseling, requires pastors to mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect, mandated reporters of domestic abuse, and mandated reporters of possible crimes, creates an untenable position for pastors to do their God-given task. Pastors would essentially would become agents of the state, and need to tell people when counseling, "You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say in this office can be used against you in a court of law." We do not expect this legislation to be resurrected.
SB 1778, makes clergy mandated reporters of child abuse and neglect. The current law requires clergy to be mandated reporters of child sexual abuse. This would require pastors to report anytime a family who is visited has possible child abuse or neglect. This also limits the ministry of the pastor and churches. Families who are turned in to DCFS will not be likely to respond by coming back to the church. Please call your state senator and ask him or her to vote NO on SB 1778.
HB 38 enhances the penalty for those who shoot up church services or commit assault and battery to someone while attending a religious service. This passed out of a subcommittee by a 6-0 vote, and out of the House Judiciary Criminal Law Committee by a vote of 19-0. It should pass the House with a unanimous vote. It passed the Senate unanimously last year, and is expected to have a favorable vote in the Senate as well. There are now 34 sponsors of this legislation.
Ask your legislators to protect the freedom of pastors and churches to minister to hurting families. Legislators all know, from the hearings with DCFS, that they already are not doing a good job in Illinois. They should not be given more responsibilities at the expense of church ministries to help families!
In His service,
Rev. Bob Vanden Bosch
Concerned Christian Ministries