The pro-life movement is surging. Just a couple of weeks ago, tens of thousands of passionate pro-life advocates descended on Washington, D.C. for the 2018 March for Life. It was inspiring as always to see the men, women, and children standing up for life through loving both mother and baby. The event came just after a new Marist poll revealed that two in three Americans want laws that protect women and their unborn children.
But the louder the pro-life movement becomes, the more abortion activists will attempt to silence it. In fact, more and more pro-life advocates are seeing their freedoms attacked. From pro-life students on campus and advocacy groups like the March for Life, to sidewalk counselors and pro-life pregnancy centers—the pro-life movement needs a strong legal defense now more than ever.
Pro-life students are often targeted on college campuses
Pro-life students on campus often face intense opposition from faculty and their fellow students, as well as unequal treatment from administrators. But these passionate students are not shy about sharing the pro-life message. That’s why ADF is actively defending their right to speak boldly on the issue that is so close to their hearts.
In a recent case, a pro-life student whose mother considered abortion was denied permission to start a Students for Life chapter at her school—Queens College. At Fresno State University, a professor clashed with pro-life students over pro-life messages that they wrote in chalk on a campus sidewalk. These are just two of the many examples of how students with pro-life beliefs can be singled out and silenced on campus.
Attempts to undermine pro-life advocates happen at the highest levels of government
A wave of legislation targeting pro-life pregnancy centers is the perfect example of attempts to undermine the pro-life message. Pro-abortion lawmakers in Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Texas, Illinois, and California have all passed unconstitutional laws that force pregnancy centers to advertise for the abortion industry. While most of the laws have been struck down in court, ADF will argue against the California law this March at the United States Supreme Court in the case of NIFLA v. Becerra.
But lawmakers haven’t stopped at attempting to compel pro-life citizens to violate their convictions. The HHS mandate for example, which forced businesses to cover the cost of abortion pills in their insurance plans, was one way that the pro-abortion Obama Administration targeted the actions of pro-life groups and business owners. The March for Life, an organization whose sole purpose is to oppose the tragedy of abortion, had to file a lawsuit in order to retain their freedom not to actively participate in abortion through funding abortion pills. The same was true for businesses like Conestoga Wood Specialties and Hobby Lobby, whose pro-life business owners wanted no part in paying for someone’s abortion. Thankfully, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in their favor.
Pro-life medical professionals are even facing fire
Despite what some abortion activists would have you believe, protecting the conscience rights of pro-life medical professionals hasn’t been controversial in the United States. But there are still those extremists who think doctors, nurses, and even Catholic hospitals should be forced to participate in abortions against their conscience.
ADF has defended nurses like Cathy DeCarlo, who was forced to participate in an abortion despite her pro-life objections or risk losing her job. We helped Dr. Nancy Fredericks fight back when she learned the surgery center she worked at was going to take over a local Planned Parenthood facility’s late-term abortion practice and force its workers to participate. And when the ACLU tried to force Trinity Health, a Catholic hospital system, and its staff to commit abortions regardless of their religious and pro-life objections, we helped get the case thrown out of federal court.
If we ever hope to overturn Roe v. Wade, the pro-life movement must be able to continue to grow unimpeded. That means fighting back when abortion activists attempt to shut down the abortion conversation by censoring or silencing pro-life voices. The freedom of pro-life advocates across the country depends on it.
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