“You are pregnant.”
For a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy, those are life-altering words. And what she does in that moment, with this overwhelming information, could have a profound impact on the rest of her life.
That’s where pregnancy centers step in.
Pro-life pregnancy centers exist to provide hope and help to women who are facing an unplanned pregnancy. They provide material resources such as diapers, wipes, clothing and formula to help the expecting mother prepare and provide for their baby. They also provide birthing and parenting classes for the men and women seeking to prepare for all that lays before them. The medically licensed centers – such as Alternatives Pregnancy Center, Options for Women, and Pregnancy Care Clinic – can provide pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and STI testing.
Pregnancy centers exist to give women all the information and support they need to answer the questions that come after they find out that they’re pregnant. Often, these center directors say, that question is:
“What am I going to do about it?”
As these pregnancy center directors shared, the women who come into their center face unique situations. They all have different backgrounds and challenges. And there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution.
That’s why the pregnancy center staff listens to each woman, answers her questions, and discusses each of the options she is interested in: parenting, adoption, and abortion. They give these women the facts about each option, their benefits, and their harms. They give them the truth.
Often, the pregnancy center staff finds that these women feel they don’t have the necessary support to move forward with their pregnancy – even if they do want to keep their baby. Thankfully, these pro-life pregnancy centers help remove that barrier.
But the State of California won’t allow these conversations to happen naturally within each pregnancy center. Instead, the government is mandating that these centers start the conversation with every woman that walks through their doors the same way:
“Abortion is the answer.”
A California law mandates that pro-life pregnancy centers must post large signs in their waiting rooms or provide every woman with written notice that the state offers free or low-cost abortions, including a phone number where women can call to get more information. In other words, these pro-life pregnancy centers must advertise for the abortion industry in their own waiting rooms, sometimes even before they even get the chance to speak with the women.
This directly contradicts their mission and their reason for existing. And it changes the conversation with the woman, putting words in the mouths of the pregnancy center staff members.
That certainly doesn’t sound like free speech.
Government should not have the power to compel Americans to speak a message that contradicts their beliefs.
That’s why Alliance Defending Freedom is representing the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates and its affiliated pregnancy centers in California before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 20.
This case is about free speech. And it is a potential landmark case. If the government can force pregnancy centers to speak a message against their mission, they can force each one of us to do the same. And that’s something that should concern us all.
Find out more about this case and its possible impact on your freedom of speech.