Crisis Pregnancy Centers Won’t Have to Push Abortion
More sanity has prevailed at the U.S. Supreme Court. Some babies’ lives are going to be saved as a result.
In a major victory for the pro-life cause and freedom of speech, California’s crisis pregnancy centers won’t be forced by law to inform clients about how to get abortions.
In National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, the Court ruled 5-4 that the California Reproductive FACT Act, enacted in 2015, violated the guarantee of free speech under the First Amendment.
Clinics were required to post a message in their facilities in 48-point font at the entrance, in the lobby, in print, online, and in any advertisement, according to Liberty Counsel, which filed a brief in three related cases. Here’s the required text:
“California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [insert the telephone number].”
The law was written so that “[e]ven a billboard with only the words ‘Choose Life’ and the name of the center would be required to post the large font government message in up to 13 languages,” Liberty Counsel said in a release.
This is like Al-Anon or Alcoholics Anonymous being forced to post notices directing alcohol abusers to the nearest bar or liquor store.
“The First Amendment protects the right to speak and the right not to speak,” said Liberty Counsel founder and Chairman Mat Staver. “To be forced to post state-prescribed notices in large font undermining the mission of the pregnancy centers is a shocking violation of the First Amendment.”
The opinion in Becerra, however, adopts arguments Liberty Counsel has made that “professional speech” cannot be exempted as some “new category of speech.”
Justice Thomas’ opinion states: “[R]egulating the content of professionals’ speech pose[s] the inherent risk that the Government seeks not to advance a legitimate regulatory goal, but to suppress unpopular ideas or information…”
The same liberals who have railed against legislators “getting between a patient and her doctor” when it comes to abortion have had no trouble imposing tyrannical laws on crisis pregnancy centers or licensed counselors who disagree with their view of sexual normalcy. We may be seeing a long-overdue correction in the legal record.
Voting in the majority along with Justice Thomas were Justice Anthony Kennedy, whose concurring opinion was joined by Chief Justice Roberts and Justices Samuel Alito and Neil Gorsuch.
One more thought:
There is little doubt that had things turned out differently in November 2016, the Court’s majority would have gone the other way, just as it would likely have done so in the Masterpiece Cakeshop case on June 4, which was a victory for free speech – and religious liberty.
A writer for Timothy Partners, Ltd. He is a regular weekly columnist for The Washington Times and Townhall.com and is frequently published by AmericanThinker.com, DailyCaller.com, OneNewsNow.com, and others. He has authored the following books: “A Strong Constitution: What Would America Look Like If We Followed the Law” (D. James Kennedy Ministries, 2018), Invested with Purpose: The Birth of the Biblically-Responsible Investment Movement, and A Nation Worth Fighting For: 10 Steps to Restore Freedom.