HB 3735 – Representative Deb Conroy (D)
This bill puts a chilling effect on Free Speech in the Abortion issue, because of the crime of “Intimidation” which is added in the bill.
HB 3735 is presently out of committee and on the floor of the Illinois House in the General Assembly, and could be voted on at any time.
HB 3735 Amends the Unified Code of Corrections.
Right to Life groups, including Lake County Right to Life, do not support violent, or property damage, at any abortion clinic. The serious problem with HB 40 is that it will enhance penalties for imprisonment on speech that is not approved by others, by the addition of “intimidation” added in this bill. Protecting free speech, even with those we don’t agree with, should generally be our concern.
In the Unified Code of Corrections, intimidation is defined to include not just violent acts, but speech.
- A person commits intimidation when, with intent to cause another to perform or omit the performance of any act, he or she communicates to another, directly or indirectly by any means, a threat to perform without lawful authority any of the following acts:
Expose any person to hatred, contempt or ridicule.
In the heated debate of abortion, is a person holding a sign that shows aborted baby pictures, showing “contempt or ridicule”? Does heated speech, when a person cries out, “don’t kill your baby”, “contempt or ridicule”?
The Code of Corrections 12-6 “intimidation, is a class 3 felony, for which an offender may be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not less than 2 years, and not more than 10 years”.
This bill, if passed, will have a “chilling” effect on, and target, all people of good will, who sidewalk counsel, pray or protest at abortion clinics.
Should HB 3735 pass, there will be a great deal of interpretation of the law. It will certainly not be protective of the pro-life community.
PLEASE CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE – TELL THEM TO VOTE NO ON HB 3735