Statewide police union warns of political consequences if lawmakers attempt changes to Health Care Right of Conscience Act
Chicago police face a possible split from the force for failing to meet Mayor Lori Lightfoot's COVID-19 vaccine mandate, but a statewide union said the mayor was not negotiating in good faith.
A judge asked the President of the Chicago Police Union not to speak publicly during a pending legal battle. However, Chris Southwood, President of the Brotherly Illinois Police Order, is free to speak. He told WMAY what was happening in Chicago.
"You clearly feel that the mayor is not negotiating in good faith when it comes to implementing the vaccine mandate," Southwood said.
Elsewhere across the state, local officials appear to be negotiating mandates with local law enforcement unions in good faith, Southwood said. If not, he said there was always state law on the protection of conscience in health care.
"It clearly states that it is unlawful to discriminate because a person, against their conscience, conscientiously refuses to use health care," he said. "We clearly have the feeling that we can fall back on these vaccine mandates and their implementation if necessary."
Southwood said there was no consideration in the natural immunity vaccine mandate debate.
"And many of our members have already been exposed to COVID," Southwood said. “Many of our members already have COVID. What about the natural immunities they have now that even protect them in some studies that are better than the vaccine and they don't have to deal with the vaccine side effects. "
The FOP, he said, would lobby against possible changes to the Right to Remorse in Health Care Act, a decade-old law that offers full protection to people who refuse medical treatments that violate their beliefs.
"We will inform the members of the General Assembly in advance that if you vote for changes to this law, we will ensure that your constituents know that you have voted for changes to this law," he said.
Legislature returns to Springfield on Tuesday. It is unclear whether they will incorporate changes to the HCRCA, which the governor's office has proposed.
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Tags: news, state, chicago, illinois, coronavirus
Original Author: Greg Bishop, The Center Square
Original location: Nationwide police union warns of political consequences if the legislature tries to change the law on the protection of conscience in the health sector
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