Illinois FOCA is back! The so-called Reproductive Health and Access Act (RHAA) was re-filed yesterday by chief sponsor Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie (D-25th), and designated as House Bill 6205.
The new bill slightly tweaks some provisions of HB2354, the Illinois FOCA bill defeated last year by a broad coalition of pro-life and pro-family groups. When it became clear that the bill lacked enough votes to pass, the Democratic House leadership shelved the bill, in a stinging defeat for the pro-abortion lobby.
As of this writing, HB6205 has not yet been referred to a committee. The committee will deliberate the measure and either vote to send it to the full House or let it die.
HB6205: The abortion provider’s “fail-safe” if Roe v. Wade goes down
A more thorough analysis of HB6205 and how it differs from last year’s version will be offered soon at the Stop Illinois FOCA website. But an initial review shows very little has changed. The bill would establish abortion as a fundamental right in the state, force public funding of thousands of abortions and mandate Planned Parenthood-style “condom training” sex ed classes in all public schools.
The bill is clearly designed to maintain Illinois’ status as the abortion capital of the midwest in the event that Roe v. Wade is ever overturned. As such, its filing is an indication of how frantic the pro-abortion lobby has become, and what their strategy will be in other states as well.
Third time’s a charm
This is actually the third time this bill has reared its ugly head. Its first incarnation was as HB5615, the Reproductive Justice and Access Act (RJAA), which never made it out of committee thanks to a pro-life phone campaign that convinced the House leadership not to move the bill forward.
The bill was refiled in 2009 and retitled the “Reproductive Health and Access Act.” When it passed out of committee under tremendous pressure from Planned Parenthood, the ACLU of Illinois and Personal PAC, pro-life leaders quickly organized a statewide campaign to defeat the bill, dubbed “Illinois FOCA” for its similarities to the controversial “Freedom of Choice Act” proposed in the U.S. Congress.
With today’s filing, the fight is now on to defeat this bill for the third time. Illinois pro-life leaders are confident that they can mobilize an even stronger grassroots army to oppose HB6205 than they did last year.
Act now to defeat HB6205
An encouraging early sign for the pro-life community came even before HB6205 was filed, when heavy snow storms earlier this week forced the Illinois Campaign for Reproductive Health and Access (ICRHA) to cancel a scheduled February 10 lobbying day in Springfield. The ICRHA comprises several groups that support HB6205, including the ACLU of Illinois, Planned Parenthood and Personal PAC.
Supporters of Illinois FOCA had hoped to get the jump on the pro-life side by beginning to recruit support for the bill the moment it was filed. But with their lobbying day rescheduled for March 3—the same day as the huge “Catholics at the Capitol” event that played a decisive role in defeating the measure last year.
This means that the pro-life side must start working now to defeat this pernicious piece of legislation:
- If you live in Illinois, contact your state rep and say “I oppose HB6205, the Illinois FOCA bill!” Be sure to mention the bill’s number, HB6205, when you call.
- Tell your friends, family, neighbors, fellow churchgoers and coworkers about HB6205 and urge them to visit StopIllinoisFOCA.com to take action.
- Learn more about HB6205 and sign the new petition being prepared right now at StopIllinoisFOCA.com.