The pro-life Alliance Defending Freedom has gained a small step to possible victory as the U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will consider a California law that requires pro-life pregnancy centers to prominently display information on how to get an abortion.
The Supreme Court’s announcement is such a welcome development for the opponents of the law. Senior counsel for Alliance Defending Freedom Kevin Theriot said: “Forcing anyone to provide free advertising for the abortion industry is unthinkable- especially when it’s the government doing the forcing. This is even truer when it comes to pregnancy care centers, which exist specifically to care for women who want to have their babies.”
The group also says that the law is unnecessary, anyway, given that information about abortion is already widely available as it is. Theriot argues: ”The government doesn’t need to punish pro-life centers for declining to advertise for the very act they can’t promote.”
Theirot also stresses that it’s also a battle about the state “protecting freedom of speech and freedom from coerced speech.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom filed the legal complaint against such law so that the U.S. Supreme Court may hear about the case. The complaint was also filed for pro-life pregnancy care network and two pregnancy care centers.
The law in contention is California’s Assembly Bill 775, called the Reproductive FACT Act which requires licensed medical centers that offer free pro-life help to pregnant women to post a notice saying that California provides free or low-cost abortion and contraceptive services. The notice also requires the inclusion of a phone number for a county office that would refer women to Planned Parenthood or other abortion providers.
The petition, filed in March, also essentially argues that the legislation was enacted to target pro-life pregnancy centers based on their viewpoint that discourages abortion.
Other courts have invalidated similar laws or parts of similar laws in Austin, Texas; Baltimore and Montgomery County, Maryland; and New York City.
One of the strongest assertions of the Alliance Defending Freedom against the law says it “enables the abortion industry.”
Elissa Graves, legal counsel for the group said: “Planned Parenthood, which makes millions from abortion, deceives women into believing that abortion is their only choice Pregnancy care centers, which provide their care for free, were established specifically to help women understand that they have the choice of life for their children and that they will be there to help them through their pregnancies.”