California Democrats are trying a different route to thwart the life-saving work of pro-life pregnancy resource centers this year after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a previous attempt in 2018.
State Assemblywoman Rebecca Bauer-Kahan, D-Orinda, said she crafted Assembly Bill 315 to punish pregnancy resource centers that provide “misinformation” to their clients, according to the Tribune News Service.
Bauer-Kahan said her bill is different from the previous state law that the Supreme Court struck down because it does not require pregnancy centers to post signs or notify clients about state abortion services.
Instead, the legislation creates new penalties under a state false advertising law for pregnancy centers that use “a false or misleading statement related to the person’s provision, or lack of provision, of abortion.” Notably, however, the bill does not include any penalties for abortion facilities that mislead or lie to their clients.
“We are outlawing misinformation. We are outlawing the practice of misleading the patient,” Bauer-Kahan said of her bill.
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California lawmakers’ previous attempt to target pregnancy centers failed. The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) sued the state and won in a victory for free speech in 2018.
“… the people lose when the government is the one deciding which ideas should prevail,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the opinion. “… This Court’s precedents are deeply skeptical of laws that ‘distinguis[h] among different speakers, allowing speech by some but not others.’”
Anne O’Connor, vice president of legal affairs at NIFLA, told the news outlet that Bauer-Kahan’s bill is unconstitutional and a waste of taxpayers’ money.
“At its worst, it is a bill by pro-abortion activists to silence anyone who offers alternatives to their sacred abortion agenda,” O’Connor told the Tribune News Service. “… if California wants to rack up extraordinary attorney fees once again only to lose, they can go ahead and waste taxpayer dollars with this ridiculous bill.”
She wondered how Bauer-Kahan will explain why she wants to make it more difficult for people in need to access pregnancy and parenting support services.
Pregnancy resource centers, maternity homes and other pro-life charities exist to support mothers and babies and save lives. They serve millions of families every year across the U.S., but their work has been under increasing attack by politicians like U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and radical abortion activists.
Last year, Warren smeared pregnancy resource centers repeatedly, even going so far as to claim they “torture” women and should be “shut down.”
According to an analysis by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, pregnancy resource centers have helped save more than 800,000 unborn babies from abortion since 2016. The research found U.S. pregnancy resource centers served about 2 million people in 2019, providing more than 730,000 pregnancy tests, nearly half a million ultrasounds, 1.3 million packs of diapers and more than 2 million baby outfits, all for free.