Centers will not have to advertise how to get abortions
Democrats for Life of America (DFLA) commends the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning the California law that required centers that oppose abortion and provide support to pregnant and parenting women to tell women how to obtain state-funded abortions. The law – the “Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency Act” – would require pro-life pregnancy centers to “provide a government-drafted script about the availability of state-sponsored services, as well as contact information for how to obtain them.”
“Under the law, the pro-life centers would have been forced to promote abortion, the very service they were set up to oppose,” said Kristen Day, the executive director of Democrats for Life of America. “Many women in crisis pregnancy don’t want abortion – even abortion-rights supporters will agree with that. The pro-life centers provide a viable option for women who don’t want abortion.”
The law violated the First Amendment’s Free Speech Clause by compelling pregnancy centers to advertise a message—how to get abortions—that they deeply oppose and that, indeed, conflicts with their very reason for existing. The law also discriminated against the state’s disfavored viewpoint—by singling out centers with a pro-life viewpoint, opposed to abortion, while doing nothing to ensure that abortion providers give information to their clients about alternatives to abortion.
California Attorney General Xavier Becerra argued that “information is power, and all women should have access to information they need when making personal health care decisions.”
“If the attorney general really believed that, he would have also required abortion clinics to provide women with referrals to one of the 135 pregnancy centers that offer women the right to parent,” said Day. “The law was singularly focused on sending women to abortion clinics instead of empowering women to make true decisions about their pregnancy and their future.”
Pro-life pregnancy centers offer women job training, clothing for both the mothers and babies, and other resources both during and after pregnancy.
“Pregnancy care centers give compassionate support to tens of thousands of women across the nation,” said Day. “They do not mislead women, as pro-abortion groups falsely claim. The court correctly ruled on this case.”