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Supreme Court to Hear Case against California Law Forcing Pro-Life Centers to Do Free Advertising for Abortions

Pete Baklinski : Nov 14, 2017  LifeSiteNews.com

Pro-life groups across the country praised the Supreme Court's decision to hear the case.

(Washington, DC)—[LifeSiteNews.com] The U.S. Supreme Court today decided to hear a pro-life challenge against a California law that forces pro-life centers, such as pregnancy medical clinics, to advertise abortion. The decision marks the first time the country's highest court will hear an abortion-related case during the Trump administration. (Photo: Creative Commons/via Pixabay)

Pro-life advocates who have opposed the law, including The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), praised the Supreme Court for deciding to hear what it called a "critical free speech case."

"California's threat to pro-life pregnancy care centers and medical clinics counts among the most flagrant violations of constitutional religious and free speech rights in the nation," said NIFLA founder and president Thomas Glessner, J.D, in a statement.

"The implications of the Supreme Court's decision in this case will reverberate nationwide, to similar unconstitutional laws in Illinois and Hawaii," he added.

California's 2015 "Reproductive FACT Act" (AB 775) requires pro-life pregnancy centers to post signage notifying their patients where and how they can receive state taxpayer-funded abortions. The law applied to hundreds of privately funded pregnancy centers.

The pro-life centers asked the Supreme Court to hear their case after the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against them last year. The court sided with the state in a 3-0 ruling, saying that the state was acting within its power of regulating medical providers. The appeals court also said that abortion advertisements in pro-life centers did not violate free speech rights because such signage stated facts without encouraging women to actually seek abortion.

Earlier this year Pacific Justice Institute filed a request for the Supreme Court to review the law, arguing that the state had effectively stripped pro-life centers and the people who run them of their right to free speech.

In March, Alliance Defending Freedom petitioned the Supreme Court to halt the law, arguing that it forced the pro-life centers to act contrary to their core mission and violated their constitutionally protected freedoms.

Last month a California Superior Court Justice put a halt to the law with a permanent injunction, ruling that the state cannot force pro-life pregnancy centers to post signage promoting state-covered abortions to their clients.

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