The abortion industry’s business model is simple. Funnel as many susceptible women in their time of need into an abortion mill to murder babies and reap astounding profits.
It has successfully evaded almost any regulation as an industry. It has manipulated Congress to take over half a billion dollars (nearly half of its annual budget) from the American taxpayer. And it has blinded the mainstream media to its chop-shop, selling murdered babies parts to pad “their bottom line.”
Yet, the abortion industry still has an Achilles heal. Its product is gruesome, deadly, and repugnant to a majority of Americans – especially pregnant women in need. When presented with the truth and a helping hand, women by the thousands reject death and instead choose life for their children.
This is the daily work of pro-life pregnancy centers. They provide women in their greatest time of need the care, help, and nurturing assistance they so desperately require. Pro-life pregnancy centers show these women that there is an alternative – a true “choice” – when it comes to the life of their child.
The success of crisis pregnancy centers has long been a thorn in the flesh of the abortion industry. To big abortion, pro-life centers are competition. Their product – life – outsells, out markets, and outlasts the abortion industry’s death mills.
So the abortion industry – Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America – have colluded with pro-abortion legislators all across the country to silence, censor, and shut down these pro-life pregnancy centers – to shut down the competition.
Earlier this month, California enacted one of these bully bills. The new law actually requires pro-life centers to promote abortion – a message that goes against everything for which these organizations stand.
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As unbelievably unconstitutional as that sounds, that is exactly what the new law does. (You can read more about the bill as we explained it when it was first proposed here.) But here’s how the new law works:
AB 775, known in the state legislature as The Reproductive FACT Act, requires all pregnancy centers that are licensed as clinics to post the following notice:
“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].”
According to the legislation, pregnancy centers that fail to disseminate this message “are liable for a civil penalty of five hundred dollars ($500) for a first offense and one thousand dollars ($1,000) for each subsequent offense.”
Essentially, this new anti-pro-life speech law co-opts the pro-life centers as abortion salesmen. If they refuse, they will be slapped with crippling penalties and eventually be forced out of existence. It’s not only absurd; it’s unconstitutional.
For years, the ACLJ has been battling these laws in courts. New York City passed similar legislation. We challenged it in federal court, representing a majority of the pro-life centers in New York City. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with a majority of our arguments, blocking the most constitutionally abusive aspects of this law from going into effect.
As we explained at the time:
[T]hese disclosures not only commandeer the free-speech rights of the centers by compelling government speech, they act as an effective warning against entry for abortion-minded women — often foreclosing even the opportunity to persuade. At the ACLJ, we challenged these restrictions on First Amendment grounds, winning an injunction at the district court. The court found the definition of “pregnancy services centers” unconstitutionally vague and therefore enjoined the law’s enforcement. The city appealed to the Second Circuit.
. . . [T]he Second Circuit issued its decision, reversing in part and affirming in part. It disagreed with the district court that the definition of “pregnancy services centers” was vague and also refused to enjoin the Status Disclosure. However, it enjoined both the government message and the services disclosure, holding that these mandated disclosures violated the pregnancy centers’ First Amendment rights.
In that case, the court correctly noted:
We are also concerned that this disclosure requires pregnancy services centers to advertise on behalf of the City. . . . A requirement that pregnancy services centers address abortion, emergency contraception, or prenatal care at the beginning of their contact with potential clients alters the centers’ political speech by mandating the manner in which the discussion of these issues begins.
This is precisely the type of unconstitutional action that California is attempting to take.
In fact, the state legislator who proposed the California law, Assemblyman David Chiu, flat out proclaimed that the bill was aimed at silencing pro-life pregnancy centers’ political speech – the very thing the Second Circuit explained that the Constitution strictly forbids. The pro-abortion legislator emphatically stated that “a growing and alarming movement is working to mislead women in order to achieve their political ideology.”
Is there any similar requirement that Planned Parenthood or other abortion clinics let women know that there are pro-life centers that would help them should they choose to keep their baby? Of course not.
Once again, on abortion there is no “choice,” only death.
At the ACLJ, we are once again preparing to take legal action to defend the pro-life free speech rights of these lifesaving crisis pregnancy centers. Already, tens of thousands of Americans have signed our petition to stop the shutdown of these pro-life centers.
It’s time to fight back.
LifeNews Note: Matthew Clark is an attorney for the ACLJ, residing in northern Virginia. He has been actively involved in Virginia politics for over a decade. You can follow Matthew on Twitter @_MatthewClark. This article is crossposted at RedState.com.