The Reproductive FACT Act now requires crisis pregnancy centers, which offer services to pregnant women, to post a sign in the lobby that informs visitors that the state provides free or low-cost abortion and contraception services.
The implementation of the law’s policy has triggered several pregnancy centers to sue the state to strike down the law. Efforts have been made in Texas, Maryland, and New York to strike down similar laws.
If the sign is posted at a licensed medical clinic, it will read:
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].
At a non-licensed medical clinic, the sign will state: “This facility is not licensed as a medical facility by the State of California and has no licensed medical provider who provides or directly supervises the provision of services.”
The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, the California Nurses Association, and the Primary Care Association have supported the legislation.
But Brad Dacus of the Pacific Justice Institute, which has sued the state over the law, told National Public Radio, “It’s like telling the Alcoholics Anonymous group that they have to have a large sign saying where people can get alcohol and booze for free. It’s like telling a Jewish synagogue that they can have their service, and do their thing, but they have to have a large sign where people can go to pray to receive Jesus.”
He added, “If people are not allowed to carry out their faith, and act and actually exercise their faith–not just have their private beliefs, but actually exercise their faith–then we really don’t have religious freedom.”
Kristin Ford, speaking for the office of California Attorney General Kamala Harris, would only say, “We will vigorously defend the state law in court.”