In today’s News:
Illinois is taken to court
Liberty Counsel filed the final reply brief on behalf of Elim Romanian Pentecostal Church and Logos Baptist Ministries in their federal lawsuit against Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker for his executive orders discriminating against churches. The Court of Appeals ordered expedited briefing and has already scheduled oral argument for June 12. Instead of taking many months or more than a year to complete an appeal, this appeal has been fast-tracked. Within a few hours after two Romanian churches filed an emergency injunction pending appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Brett Kavanaugh ordered Pritzker to respond by 8 p.m. on May 28. Just hours before his deadline to respond to the high court, Pritzker removed all restrictions by issuing “guidelines,” none of which are mandatory. However, unless and until there is a judicial declaration that Pritzker has acted unconstitutionally thus far, there is nothing keeping him from changing his mind again, whether in this crisis or any future crisis.
Religious exception struck down in New York
The U.S. District Court for The Northern District of New York has upheld most of a law allowing the Empire State to force pro-life organizations to employ workers who oppose their religious values and pro-life mission while throwing out one provision of the law as compelling speech. Last fall, Alliance Defending Freedom took up the case on behalf of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, First Bible Baptist Church in Hilton, and the pro-life pregnancy care service Compasscare, arguing that the law “intentionally and by design sacrifices the associational, speech, and religious freedom of employers in New York state” to “the government’s desire to promote abortion rights.” On June 5, the District Court ruled against the pro-life groups, the religion clause blog reported.
Pandemic closes abortion facilities
Independent abortion facilities are struggling financially and may have to close because of the coronavirus shutdowns, according to the progressive news site Shadowproof. Nikki Madsen, executive director of the Abortion Care Network, said dozens of abortion facilities may close, leaving up to four states completely abortion-free. Her organization represents 125 independent abortion facilities across the country. Independent means they are not affiliated with Planned Parenthood, Whole Woman’s Health or another abortion chain. Madsen said a majority of abortion facilities within her network could close permanently in the coming months. According to the report, some of these abortion facilities chose to temporarily and voluntarily close during the coronavirus crisis because they did not have enough equipment, “while others could not afford the massive sanitization and personnel efforts required to work through the pandemic.” Recently, medical groups representing more than 30,000 doctors in America emphasized that abortions are not “essential” or “urgent,” and abortion facilities that continue to operate during the pandemic are being “medically irresponsible.” Abortion complications include infections, blood clots, hemorrhaging and an incomplete abortion.