National pro-life leaders say the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in favor of pro-life pregnancy care centers and their right to free speech is yet another setback for the Left’s attempt to undermine the First Amendment and people of faith.
In National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, the court ruled in favor of pro-life groups that provide counseling to pregnant women and offer alternatives to abortion. The decision invalidated a California law requiring crisis pregnancy centers to post information on how to obtain a state-funded abortion.
“By ruling against California’s blatantly unconstitutional law, the Court has made it clear that freedom of speech still remains protected, even when threatened by the Left’s ever-intensifying efforts to force people of faith to speak and act against their beliefs,” said Terry Schilling, executive director at American Principles Project, in a statement. “We hope that crisis pregnancy centers in California will now be able to continue with their important work of providing assistance to women and children in need, unharassed by hostile state legislators.”
Dr. Grazie Pozo Christie, policy adviser for The Catholic Association, said the ruling upholds the right of crisis pregnancy centers “to decline to speak on behalf of the state to promote abortion.”
“The state of California, in a classic example of compelled speech, sought to force non-profit organizations, deeply committed to supporting pregnant women who wish to give birth, to advertise the state’s free or low-cost abortions,” she added. “The Court recognized this injustice as what it is: a violation of the First Amendment rights that make America a beacon and an example to the world.”
“This unjust law was one of the worst offenses against First Amendment rights we’ve seen and shows the illegal lengths the abortion industry and its political allies are willing to go to suppress the pro-life viewpoint and promote the killing of children in the womb,” said Lila Rose, president of Live Action. “Pro-life pregnancy centers are providing advocacy, education, baby supplies, parenting classes, and maternity care to women in need. In addition to helping women during pregnancy, they often provide support long after the baby is born.”
Father Frank Pavone, national director of Priests for Life, said, “It’s a great day for free speech, religious liberty and the pro-life movement.”
“Forcing pregnancy centers — that exist to prevent abortions – to advertise for abortion is like requiring Alcoholics Anonymous meetings to advertise for the liquor store down the street,” he said. “It’s an insidious effort to make sure choice is eliminated and abortion is the only option.”
Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, also offered an analogy regarding the effect of the California law.
“What if the government made a vegan grocer post ads for the local butcher shop? Everyone would agree that that’s not fair,” he said. “California lawmakers, through this law that has now been struck down, attempted to override the First Amendment, forcing private entities to speak messages against their beliefs, and punishing them if don’t comply. That this could happen in America, should be of grave concern to all Americans, regardless of their views on abortion.”
However, Planned Parenthood condemned the high court’s decision. Referring to crisis pregnancy centers as “fake women’s health centers,” the abortion industry giant said, “Despite today’s ruling, know that we will never stop fighting for everyone’s right to have medically accurate information about all of their options.”
JUST IN: SCOTUS voted 5-4 in favor of fake women's health centers. Despite today's ruling, know that we will never stop fighting for everyone’s right to have medically accurate information about all of their options. #EndTheLies https://t.co/IyULv1FhDD
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) June 26, 2018
Nevertheless, Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America (CWA), said in a statement that the case was not actually about abortion.
“Malicious abortion politics definitely were the motivation behind it, but the case centered on the inappropriate mandate of the state compelling pro-life clinics to promote abortion in violation of their consciences,” she said. “The case was about forced speech.”
“Millions of women around the country, both pro-life and pro-abortion, reject this form of government tyranny,” Nance added. “Freedom-loving women should celebrate the Court’s wisdom here in allowing all women to serve their fellow neighbor as their conscience dictates, free from government interference.”
Kristan Hawkins, president of Students for Life of America, said the Supreme Court’s ruling “put a halt to the abortion industry’s campaign forcing pro-life advocates to act as a sales team for abortion.”
“Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry fought to destroy the free speech rights of pro-life individuals in California who daily work to help women choose life for their pre-born infants,” she said. “This effort shows the true hypocrisy of abortion advocates who didn’t respect the Constitutional rights of those who love women and their preborn infants.”