To receive daily emails from Breaking Christian News to your inbox CLICK HERE


SHARE THIS ARTICLE Printer friendly version of this page

Victory in California State Court for Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers

Geoffrey Surtees : Jul 13, 2017  ACLJ.org

The pro-life victory comes in that the Superior Court judge refused to dismiss the case in which the state of California is trying to force pro-life pregnancy centers to post information about free or low-cost abortions. Judge Gloria Trask noted in her decision that "This statute compels the clinic to speak words with which it profoundly disagrees when the State has numerous alternative methods of publishing its message. This statute places too heavy a burden upon the liberty of free thought." The ACLJ has asked the Supreme Court to take up the case.

[ACLJ.org] As discussed here, the State of California has attacked pro-life pregnancy centers by requiring them, under pain of financial penalties, to advertise free or low-cost abortions paid for by the State. Called the "Reproductive FACT Act," the law is a brazen attempt to coerce pro-life groups into supporting the very thing to which they religiously object and provide alternatives. (Photo: via LifeNews.com)

We have filed a cert petition with the U.S. Supreme Court, asking it to reverse the erroneous decision of the Ninth Circuit that held that the FACT Act does not violate the First Amendment. That petition remains pending and we expect a decision from the Court on whether it will intervene in this case in the fall.
 
Not only are we seeking to vindicate the free speech rights of our clients in federal court, we are also serving as co-counsel with Advocates for Faith and Freedom in California state court, representing a pro-life pregnancy center, the Scharpen Foundation, challenging that very same law.
 
Recently, Judge Gloria Trask of the Riverside County Superior Court issued a ruling rejecting the State's attempt to dismiss that case. In so doing, the court found that many of the State's legal arguments in defense of the FACT Act did not comport with the Constitution, or even common-sense.
 
In response to the State's argument that the notice mandated by the State is simply a neutral statement of fact (an argument mistakenly accepted by the Ninth Circuit), Judge Trask held:
 
This compelled speech is not politically neutral. This speech is not merely the transmittal of neutral information, such as the calorie count of a Big Mac, or that smoking tobacco or drinking alcohol can be hazardous to health. It is not as benign as compelling a plum producer to contribute to a marketing campaign touting the benefits of plums. The State commands the clinics to post specific directions for whom to contact to obtain an abortion. It forces the clinic to point the way to the abortion clinic and can leave patients with the belief they were referred to an abortion provider by that clinic.
 
With respect to the State's argument that the compelled speech requirement was an efficient means of advising women of California's family planning programs (another argument mistakenly accepted by the Ninth Circuit), the court rejected that one too:
 
The burden placed on the compelled speaker must be subject to some reasonable limitation. This statute compels the clinic to speak words with which it profoundly disagrees when the State has numerous alternative methods of publishing its message. This statute places too heavy a burden upon the liberty of free thought. The State can deliver its message without infringing upon anyone's liberty. It may purchase television advertisements as it does to encourage Californians to sign up for Covered California or to conserve water. It may purchase billboard space and post its message directly in front of Scharpen Foundation's clinic ... It can do everything but compel a free citizen to deliver that message.
 
Finally, the court made it clear that the so-called "right" to abortion does not mean that all other rights, including the right to free speech, must take a back seat:
 
It is entirely proper for the State to take its position supporting access to abortion, a right protected by both State and federal Constitutions. It may enact laws that support abortion access and tax its citizens to make abortions available. It can require informed consent for all medical procedures. But its ability to impress free citizens into State service in this political dispute cannot be absolute; it must be limited.
 
Though the Scharpencase is still pending, with trial to begin in a number of weeks, the wisdom of Judge Trask in seeing through the specious arguments of the California Attorney General in defense of this outrageous law is most welcome. We trust that the U.S. Supreme Court will exercise that same wisdom in granting our petition and reversing the flawed decision of the Ninth Circuit.
 
This is an important victory for the ACLJ and for our co-counsel in this case—Advocates for Faith and Freedom. We will keep you posted as these important pro-life, free speech cases move forward on both the state and federal levels.







SHARE THIS ARTICLE Printer friendly version of this page

To receive daily emails from Breaking Christian News to your inbox CLICK HERE

Other Recent Articles from Breaking Christian News

Choices, Not Race, Determine Success in America, Says Immigrant from Zimbabwe, Now an Author, Small Business Owner

'Pray for' America: Christian Leaders React to the Derek Chauvin Verdict

Ted Cruz Exposes Double Standard on Georgia Elections during Committee Hearing on New Georgia Voting Law

'Woke' Simon and Schuster Employees Try to Cancel Pence Book: Publisher Bites Back

Apple Finally Lets Parler Return to App Store Following Republican Letter

Archaeologists Find Site of Harriet Tubman's Father's Home Where This 'Moses' of the Underground Railroad Got Her Start

'It Was A Pretty Powerful Moment': 6-Year-Old Gets Hero's Welcome Back to School after Completing Cancer Treatment

'It's Real!': Arizona Woman's Near-death Experience Confirms Famous Painting of Jesus

Verdict: Jury Finds Derek Chauvin Guilty of Murdering George Floyd

'Stop Killing Our Children': Benjamin Watson Exposes 'Hollow' Apology for Planned Parenthood's Racist Roots

Arkansas Legislature Passes Bill Banning Planned Parenthood from Public Schools

'We're Not Doing Fauci-ism': Ron DeSantis Defends Florida's COVID Response

Latest Episode of 'At Home With The Robertsons' Tackles Tough Questions about COVID-19 Vaccine Safety

WATCH: Arizona Gov. Ducey Declares Border Emergency Because Biden Won't

'Religious Freedom Prevailed': Houston Officials Agree to Permit Synagogue to Meet Following Religious Liberty Lawsuit

'I Heard God Speak to Me': Columbine Survivor Craig Scott Reflects on the Moments That Saved His Life, and How He Found Forgiveness

Biden Admin Axes President Trump's Rules Limiting Experimentation on Aborted Babies

Are Scientists Now Using Human Cells to Create 'Planet of the Apes' Embryos?

Young Pregnant Pro-abortion Leader in Argentina Dies after Legal Abortion

Report: Thousands of Reports of Menstrual Irregularities, Reproductive Dysfunction Following COVID Vaccines



Search the Articles Archives

Keyword:  
Author:  
Words Posted On:  
Day Month Year



BCN Plus

An BCN Paid Advertisement
An BCN Paid Advertisement
Follow BCN on Twitter
Are You Praying for Our Government Leaders?
BCN Staff

Steve Shultz
Steve Shultz, Managing Editor
Founder and Owner


Aimee Herd
Aimee Herd, Editor


BCN Plus
Are You Praying for President Trump?
 
 

All articles on this site and emails from BCN are copyrighted property of Breaking Christian News. Permission is given to link to, or share a BCN story if proper attribution is given to both the original writer and summarizer of the story. Breaking Christian News 2005-2019. All Rights Reserved.


Breaking Christian News is a division of Elijah List Publications, Inc. All Rights Reserved


Disclaimer: Articles and links, as well as the source articles linked to; do not necessarily reflect the opinion of Breaking Christian News.

editor@breakingchristiannews.com