It is the aim of pro life pregnancy centers in California to provide women with love, support, care, and hope, along with the physical resources they may need to follow through with their pregnancy and choose life. These pregnancy resource centers provide women free of charge with with supplies like diapers, baby wipes, formula, clothes, blankets, and etc. Many pregnancy resource centers also provide women in need with free resources about parenting, adoption information, or other services such as counseling. In addition to theses services, many of the pregnancy care clinics provide pregnancy testing, ultrasounds, and maternity clothing.
The goal of pregnancy care centers such as these is to foster an environment where women feel safe and secure. A place of support and not one of coercion. By providing these resources and services free of charge, these pregnancy care centers enable and empower women to make informed decisions that are the best for their respective situations.
When faced with an unplanned pregnancy, many women’s initial reaction may be one of apprehension, fear, and worry – especially if she is in an unstable or precarious relationship. Pregnancy care centers are there to support women through this difficult, often emotionally charged, time.
You would think that local governments would appreciate and even back these initiatives. Not so with the state of California. Abortion groups are pushing the government in California to target pro life pregnancy resource centers and FORCE them to endorse a message of abortion. This would be a direct contradiction of a pregnancy care center’s mission. A government that tries to force its citizens to endorse a particular message has clearly overstepped its jurisdiction.
The so-called “Reproductive FACT Act,”which became law in October of 2015, forces medically licensed pregnancy care centers to post signs with information on where women can go to receive free abortions and provide a phone number where they can call to be referred to an abortion center such as Planned Parenthood. The law also requires non-medically licensed pregnancy centers to post a disclaimer in their centers and their advertising that they are not a medical facility – in up to 13 different languages. This requirement makes it virtually impossible for them to advertise their services.
The government is forcing these medical care centers to violate the very reason for their existence. The California law has been legally challenged by multiple pro life groups, including the Sacramento-based Pacific Justice Institute. The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, has filed a legal challenge to the law, and the Supreme Court has agreed to take on the case. The Supreme Court justices limited their participation to one question: “Whether the disclosures required by the California Reproductive FACT Act violate the protections set forth in the Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment, applicable to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment.”
On March 20, 2018, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will stand before the United States Supreme Court and argue on behalf of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates as well as its affiliated pregnancy centers in the state of California. The outcome of the case—NIFLA v. Becerra—will not not only affect free speech rights for every American, but the decision could mean life or death for some preborn babies.