Los Angeles city officials are throwing their weight around and trying to intimidate pro-life pregnancy centers into complying with a new law that forces them to promote abortions.
The Los Angeles Daily News reports city hall officials sent letters to six local pro-life organizations, urging them to follow the new pro-abortion law. City attorney Mike Feuer, whose office sent the letters, said there is no evidence that any of the pro-life clinics have violated the law; the city simply wanted to urge their compliance.
The radical, pro-abortion law took effect in December, forcing about 150 pro-life non-profits in California to choose between advertising free and low-cost abortions through the state or facing fines of up to $1,000 if they do not comply.
The Daily News, which wrongly referred to the non-profit pro-life groups as “businesses,” reported that the city sent six letters to pro-life pregnancy centers, including the Pregnancy Counseling Center in Mission Hills and Open Arms Pregnancy Center in Northridge
Los Angeles City Councilwoman Nury Martinez said her office received complaints last year about a San Fernando Valley pregnancy center. She did not provide more details about the complaint but criticized pregnancy centers for being “deceptive.”
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Many of the complaints have been coming from the radical pro-abortion group NARAL, which routinely attacks pregnancy centers for offering pregnant women alternatives to abortion. It pushed for the new law, using unfounded allegations against community-supported pregnancy help. NARAL recently said its investigators are continuing to check the pregnancy centers for violations.
Several pro-life organizations have filed lawsuits against the California law, saying it violates their freedom of speech and freedom of religion in the U.S. Constitution and, according to one lawsuit, the California Constitution. In December, two judges refused to stop the law from taking effect while the lawsuits continue, LifeNews reported. Several pregnancy centers have refused to comply, though no reports of penalties have surfaced yet.
The new law forces pregnancy clinics to inform women and girls that California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost abortions for eligible women. These faith-based medical centers must also tell their client to contact the county social services office to see if the pregnant woman qualifies for the free or cheap abortions.
The law will force 150 California non-profits, including the 74 state-licensed free ultrasound facilities, to give each of its clients a disclaimer that includes the phone number of a county social services office where a client could obtain an abortion covered by taxpayer-funded Medi-Cal.
The notice, which the law specifies must either be posted as a public notice in “22-point type,” “distributed to all clients in no less than 14-point font” or distributed digitally “at the time of check-in or arrival,” applies to all of the entities—even those licensed by the state.
The 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].”
Similar government-compelled speech for pregnancy centers has been struck down as unconstitutional in Austin (TX), Baltimore and Montgomery County (MD) and New York City.