A Los Angeles area pregnancy center appears to be the first to be threatened with huge fines for not complying with an onerous state law that requires pro-life groups to promote abortions.
The radical, pro-abortion law took effect in December, forcing more than 150 pro-life non-profits to choose between advertising free and low-cost abortions through the state or facing fines if they do not comply.
The Los Angeles Times reports the city recently threatened to take legal action against the Pregnancy Counseling Center in Mission Hills after it refused to follow the pro-abortion law. City Attorney Mike Feuer took initial steps to file a lawsuit against the pro-life center after it missed an Aug. 14 deadline to correct violations, according to the report.
On Thursday, Feurer said the pro-life non-profit agreed to comply with the pro-abortion law. Failure to do so could have subjected the pregnancy center to huge penalties of $2,500 per day, the newspaper reports.
“I pledged to protect a woman’s right to have accurate information before she makes the most personal and sensitive of choices, and I meant it,” Feuer said, Northridge Patch reports. “We will aggressively enforce the FACT Act, taking any action necessary against those who violate it.”
A number of California pregnancy centers have said that they will not advertise abortions until the state forces them to comply. Several also have filed lawsuits challenging the law, arguing that it violates their First Amendment freedom of speech.
The radical pro-abortion group NARAL pushed for the new law, using unfounded allegations against community-supported pregnancy help. NARAL recently said it is sending out investigators to check whether pregnancy centers are violating the law.
Here’s more from the report:
In May, Feuer sent letters to six reproductive health facilities in the city of Los Angeles, informing them of their legal obligations under the Reproductive FACT (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency) Act, which took effect in January.
… Last month, undercover investigators from the Los Angeles County Department of Business and Consumer Affairs discovered that three facilities were not in compliance.
Feuer notified the non-compliant centers that they had 30 days to correct the violations, according to the law. After 30 days, investigators determined that two of the facilities had made the appropriate adjustments, but the Pregnancy Counseling Center in Mission Hills was still not following regulations.
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 and girls. These faith-based medical centers also must tell their client to contact the county social services office to see if she qualifies for the free or cheap abortions.
The law will force more than 150 California pregnancy help non-profits, including the 74 state-licensed free ultrasound facilities, to give each of its clients the following disclaimer, which 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].”
The pregnancy centers are seeking relief through lawsuits, but none has come thus far. In December, two judges refused to temporarily block the pro-abortion law from taking effect while the lawsuits continue, LifeNews reported.