Back in December 2015, a law went into effect in California that forced pro-life pregnancy centers to advise women how and where they can obtain taxpayer funded abortions.
“This bill is nothing short of a state-sponsored attack on women by the highly profitable abortion industry,” said Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D., president of Heartbeat International, which has 45 of its nearly 2,000 affiliates in California. “Women desperately need emotional support and practical resources during an unexpected pregnancy. Gov. Brown has made it more difficult for women to find the help they need to make the healthiest decision for everyone involved in an unexpected pregnancy.”
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) and the Pacific Justice Institute both filed lawsuits on behalf of six pregnancy centers following the signing of the law in October, stated CNS.
The ACLJ reported that “The centers do not refer for or counsel in favor of abortion at any time. The new California law, however, compels them to post a sign in their waiting rooms, or hand to each potential client a notice that tells them that their state government will provide them with a free abortion (assuming they meet eligibility requirements) and tells them to call the phone number of a local social services office for more information. In other words, these centers, whose very existence is premised on a mission to discourage abortion (and encourage life) are forced – at the very outset of their contact with women in crisis – to become cheerleaders for NARAL, the co-sponsor and probable author of the FACT Act.”
On December 21 U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller denied the injuction request by the Pacific Justice Institute and President of the Institute Brad Dacus said the “ruling should alarm everyone who believes in a robust First Amendment.”
“The notion that the government can compel religious non-profits to promote practices antithetical to their values is chilling,” said Dacus.
“Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that pro-life pregnancy centers are required to promote abortion, meaning, that if a pregnant woman comes to them not knowing what to do about her pregnancy, along with counseling her about adoption or keeping her own baby, they must also refer her to a local abortion clinic,” reported The Christian Post.
Not only did the courts deny the injunctions sought by both the ACLJ and the Pacific Justice Institute but the Ninth Circuit Court upheld the decision that would force pro-life clinics to go against their better judgement.
“In support of its erroneous and unconstitutional ruling, the Court relies on the idea that, because our clients’ clinics are licensed by the State, anything and everything that’s said by anybody within the four walls of the clinic about the services they provide can be regulated, shaped and controlled by the government, including the when and how our clients present something as controversial as abortion. And, if they don’t comply, these nonprofit charities, which face a daily struggle to pay the light bills and buy the supplies they hand out for free, can be fined into submission.” – ACLJ
(H/T – CNS)
Follow me on twitter at BYR_Miguel