Joliet's Bishop Conlon condemns passage of Illinois abortion bill: 'Women deserve better'
Bishop R. Daniel Conlon of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Joliet wishes lawmakers in Springfield had taken more time to consider all the factors before pushing so hard for increasing abortion rights.
“I respect their concern for the rights and dignity of women, but there are two other people involved in these matters who cannot be ignored: the child and the father,” Conlon told the Will County Gazette. “Many other states, including neighbors of Illinois, have chosen to go in a very different direction to protect the rights of the unborn, male and female.”
Conlon hasn’t minced words in harshly assessing the recently passed Senate Bill 25, which seeks to establish abortion as a “fundamental right” along with repealing the state’s long-running ban on partial-birth abortions.
“Senate Bill 25 undermines women’s health,” he said. “It removes abortion clinics from regulations for serious medical procedures and eliminates the requirement that coroners investigate the death of a mother occurring during an abortion. Women deserve better than abortion. Working for a society where both mother and child are cared for is the true path of justice and compassion.”
Conlon added he’s at a loss to understand why new Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker has pushed as hard as he has for such policy, at one point vowing to make Illinois "the most progressive state” for abortion.
“Abortion is devastating,” the bishop said. “Young lives are taken. Because of the Church’s post-abortion ministry, we are aware of the trauma that many women experience because they have chosen abortion. They do not consider their decision to have been ‘progressive.’ We hope Illinois becomes a place where every life is respected and cared for. That’s real progress.”
As the debate continues to rage both locally and on the national stage, Conlon said the church will do everything it has to in order to make its voice heard.
“The Catholic Church in this country has been and will continue to be one of the strongest and clearest voices on behalf of children in the womb,” he said. “We continue to pray and take up efforts to care for the unborn, mothers, fathers and families. We share the gospel of life with ardor and seek to uphold the dignity of every human life through education, care for mothers and families, post-abortive healing, advocacy and prayer.”