Grass does not grow under Maggie Krell’s feet.
The Sacramento Bee reports after only two weeks in her new position as Planned Parenthood’s legal counsel, the Sacramento, California attorney filed an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court on the abortion chain’s behalf. On March 20, she will argue the case in person.
The case, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, involves a California law requiring pro-life pregnancy centers to promote abortions. As of January, 22 states and 144 Congress members have filed amicus briefs in support of the pro-life centers.
Krell represents the opposite side of this issue. Her 34-page brief focuses on the activities of pro-life centers. According to the report, she maintains that pro-life centers “mislead” women, and are run by politically motivated, untrained staff. Her brief cites some of this “misleading” information that pregnancy centers give to their clients, such as the risks of breast cancer, mental health problems and infertility that follow abortions.
Interestingly, Krell was in the middle of a widely publicized online sex trafficking case when she switched jobs and joined Planned Parenthood, according to the report.
“I am ready to fight in a new arena, whether it’s abortion bans or the defunding or banning of sex education,” she said. “Many of my sex trafficking and domestic violence cases started because a patient confided in her medical provider. If it hadn’t been for that nurse, doctor or medical assistant notifying law enforcement, we wouldn’t have been able to stop the abuse, access resources for the victim, and put the abuser behind bars.”
Ironically, Planned Parenthood was caught in an undercover sting allegedly failing to report sex traffickers and their victims.
In the California case, the pro-life advocates highlight the broader aspect of this issue.
“In essence, the law mandates that pro-life centers become abortion referral agencies, totally against their convictions, against their foundational beliefs, compelling speech,” said Tom Glessneer, NIFLA president and CEO.
The 144 Congress members stated in their brief: “It is well-established that the First Amendment proscribes compelled speech in non-commercial contexts. This is especially true in cases like this one in which the state forces conscientious objectors to carry messages that offend the speakers’ moral convictions.”
The Alliance Defending Freedom’s Legal Counsel, Elissa Graves, clarifies the true mission of pro-life pregnancy resource centers:
“Why should the abortion industry be able to force others—even pro-life centers—to provide free abortion advertising? Planned Parenthood, which makes millions from abortion, deceives women into believing that abortion is their only choice. Pregnancy care centers, which provide their care for free, were established specifically to help women understand that they have the choice of life for their children, and that they will be there to help them through their pregnancies.”
The California law, which was co-sponsored by the radical pro-abortion group NARAL, demands unlicensed pregnancy centers post a notice advertising abortions and abortifacients in 48 size font in each language required (up to 11 languages and 22 pages) at both the entrance to their clinic and in a visible location within the waiting area. In addition, it also must be included on their websites and in every promotional material they publish with a font size and/or color that draws more attention to it than the other words on the page.
The required notice reads: “California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [insert the telephone number].”
Furthermore, the law charges a cumulative fine of $1,000 for every repeated instance that the notice is not communicated to a client. This law sabotages freedom of speech by forcing organizations to encourage actions that are in direct opposition to their religious beliefs and counter the mission and purpose of their organizations.
The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in the case March 20.