Pritzker signs COVID-19 amendment to Illinois conscience law


FILE – Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. (Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Chicago Sun-Times via AP, File)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois governor has signed into law a change to the Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act to prevent it from being used to avoid penalties for refusing to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker took action Monday to stem what he says is the law’s misuse. Lawsuits have been filed by employees claiming they cannot be punished for refusing the vaccination because the law provides a conscience-based exception.

The Illinois Health Care Right of Conscience Act was adopted in 1978 to protect physicians from penalty or discipline for refusing to perform abortions because of a religious or moral objection.

By JOHN O’CONNOR, Associated Press

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