How would you feel if the government could force you to undermine not only your beliefs, but also the entire mission of your organization?
Concerned? Frustrated? Angry?
Well, that’s exactly what the State of California is attempting to do.
In 2015, the state passed a law that requires pro-life pregnancy centers to refer for abortions, even giving out the phone number to call.
But last time I checked, these centers exist to help pregnant women and their babies. They want to provide the men and women that walk into their doors with real choices in the face of an unplanned pregnancy, choices that protect not only the baby’s life, but also the mother from the physical and psychological harms associated with abortion.
Being forced to promote a procedure that kills the baby and harms the mother directly contradicts the mission of these pregnancy centers, not to mention the religious and moral beliefs of their employees.
On top of that, if the pregnancy center is unlicensed in the state of California, this law requires that they inform their patient immediately that they do not have a licensed medical professional on staff, rather than simply letting the centers communicate this naturally in conversation.
As I’ve pointed out before, this law is problematic for several reasons:
- The government is forcing these pro-life centers to promote something that goes against their very mission: abortion.
- These laws specifically target pro-life centers. They do not affect pro-abortion clinics such as Planned Parenthood.
- The government wants to force these pregnancy centers to say what the government wants them to say, when the government wants them to say it. That’s something we should all be concerned about.
Alliance Defending Freedom petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to review this case and protect the free-speech rights of these pregnancy centers. And this case could have widespread impact because California’s law is not the only one of its kind. Illinois enacted a similar law, as well as Hawaii. But there is hope; last week, a federal court issued an injunction to halt enforcement of the Illinois law while the case is being decided.
We cannot sit back and let the government dictate what we advocate for.
Forcing individuals and organizations to advertise for the very issues they are working against at the demand of the state is unacceptable. And a government that has the power to do that should scare us all.
Alliance Defending Freedom is dedicated to preserving the freedom of all to live and work according to our beliefs without fear of government punishment. Would you consider giving today to help us do just that?