Judge grants injunction to anti-abortion medical providers

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ROCKFORD, Ill. (AP) — A northern Illinois judge has granted an injunction to health care providers who are suing the state over a law that requires them to provide information or referrals to patients seeking abortions.

Winnebago County Judge Eugene Doherty granted the injunction Tuesday. He says the providers who object to abortion “raised a fair question” about whether the law violates “their right to be free from government compelled speech.”

The group filed the lawsuit against the state in August after a state law was amended in July to include the new requirements.  The new requirement was slated to go into effect on Jan. 1. Opponents wanted the injunction to prevent the state from penalizing doctors and medical staff who cite objection to abortion as the reason for not providing such information or referrals.

A state of Illinois spokesman didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. Previously, Assistant Attorney General Sarah Newman said the statute is only triggered if a patient asks for information.