A California law that forces pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise abortions is insulting on many levels.
First and foremost, it insults women, as lawyers with Alliance Defending Freedom pointed out.
Arguing against the constitutionality of the law, the legal organization wrote in a brief to the U.S. Supreme Court: “California’s arguments about preventing confusion sound in paternalism and exude a low view of women navigating unplanned pregnancies. The state assumes these women are unable to make phone calls, search the internet, or ask basic questions of prospective service providers.”
WND summarizes Alliance Defending Freedom’s conclusion this way: “California has a reason for its requirement that pro-life crisis pregnancy centers promote local abortionists: It thinks women are stupid.”
This California law, AB 775, requires pregnancy resource centers to post in large colors and fonts a notice detailing where women can have an abortion. It assumes that women who seek the services of pregnancy centers do not have the mental wherewithal to research their options on their own.
AB 775 also insults pro-life centers. It assumes that these crisis pregnancy centers do not deserve their constitutional rights to free speech.
“Americans shouldn’t be forced by the government to promote messages that conflict with their beliefs,” ADF President Michael Farris stated. “Yet, the attorney general of California claims that pro-life pregnancy centers must provide free advertising for abortion because women may not know how to find an abortion facility. We strongly disagree: information about abortion is widely available.”
“Under the Constitution, California is required to respect the free speech rights of all of its citizens – not just those in the abortion industry,” Farris concluded.
Arguably, it even insults the abortion industry. St. Augustine of Hippo once said,“The truth is like a lion; you don’t have to defend it. Let it loose; it will defend itself.” Perhaps NARAL and the other abortion advocates who have supported and co-sponsored this law think that lions do need to be defended. Or perhaps they know intuitively that the abortion industry is based on a lie so flimsy that protecting the industry requires them to force their opponents to advertise for them.
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Pro-life centers, which provide financial, material, emotional, and counseling assistance to women in crisis pregnancies, are fighting the California requirement at the U.S. Supreme Court. The law forces them to 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 to their website and other promotional materials.
The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for the case challenging the law, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, on March 20. ADF attorneys, including Michael Farris, and several of their allied organizations, are lined up to represent NIFLA.
Their opposition in this case will include Maggie Krell, Planned Parenthood’s newly appointed legal counsel for its California chapter.