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Gov. Pritzker signs bill outlawing deception by 'crisis pregnancy centers'

Gov. Pritzker signs bill protecting women from being fooled by 'crisis pregnancy centers'
Gov. Pritzker signs bill protecting women from being fooled by 'crisis pregnancy centers' 00:35

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The State of Illinois is being sued over a new law protecting women from being fooled by so-called "crisis pregnancy centers."

Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker signed the law on Thursday. It outlaws any deception, fraud, or false promises by such centers.

"Women need access to comprehensive, fact-based healthcare when making critical decisions about their own health – not manipulation or misinformation from politically motivated, non-medical actors," Pritzker said in a newas release. "By empowering the Attorney General's office to battle deceptive practices, we're ensuring Illinoisans can make their own decisions about their bodies using accurate and safe information."

Illinois state Rep. Terra Costa Howard (D-Lombard) was a sponsor of the bill.

"This is about fighting to protect the fundamental right to reproductive health – for every person in our country," said Rep. Costa Howard.

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul also praised Gov. Pritzker for signing the bill.

"I witnessed deceptive crisis pregnancy center tactics firsthand on a visit to tour a Planned Parenthood health center in Illinois. People who appeared as though they might work there were outside attempting to divert patients away from the health center," Raoul said in a news release. "Patients report going to crisis pregnancy centers – sometimes even receiving exams and ultrasounds – thinking they were visiting a clinic that offers the full range of reproductive care. In addition, patients may disclose personal medical information, unaware the center may not keep that information private and confidential. By signing this law at a time when reproductive health access faces continued attacks in other states, Gov. Pritzker is helping to protect patients who seek care in Illinois from these extreme violations of trust and privacy."

The Thomas More Society, a nonprofit law firm, filed the suit against the state over the bill.

"This law is a blatant attempt to chill and silence pro-life speech under the guise of 'consumer protection,'" Peter Breen, Thomas More Society Executive Vice President and Head of Litigation, said in a news release. "Pregnancy help ministries provide real options and assistance to women and families in need, but instead of the praise they deserve, pro-abortion politicians are targeting these ministries with $50,000 fines and injunctions solely because of their pro-life viewpoint."

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