A controversial law requiring pro-life groups to provide abortion information to women, AB 775, has been upheld by the Ninth District Court.
The ruling is one of the worst blows to the pro-life movement in recent memory – and according to pro-life advocates, it’s nothing short of state-sponsored punishment by liberals against conservatives.
“It’s bad enough if the government tells you what you can’t say, but a law that tells you what you must say — under threat of severe punishment — is even more unjust and dangerous,” Senior lawyer Matt Bowman from the Alliance Defending Freedom, a public interest group representing the pro-life organizations, said.
“In this case, political allies of abortionists are seeking to punish pro-life pregnancy centers, which offer real hope and help to women. Forcing these centers to promote abortion and recite the government’s preferred views is a clear violation of their constitutionally protected First Amendment freedoms. That’s why other courts around the country have halted these kinds of measures and why we will be discussing the possibility of appeal with our clients,” Bowman said.
The controversial law, passed in April of 2015, requires that pro-life pregnancy crisis centers designed to counsel women who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant also provide these women information about how to find abortion providers with the following requirements: “A public notice posted in a conspicuous place where individuals wait that may be easily read by those seeking services from the facility. The notice shall be at least 8.5 inches by 11 inches and written in no less than 22-point type.
A printed notice distributed to all clients in no less than 14-point type.
A digital notice distributed to all clients that can be read at the time of check-in or arrival, in the same point type as other digital disclosures. A printed notice as described in subparagraph (B) shall be available for all clients who cannot or do not wish to receive the information in a digital format.”
“It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that the liberal Ninth Circuit Court three-judge panel upheld California’s violation of federal law, the U.S. Constitution, and human rights,” National Institute for Family and Life Advocates president Thomas Glessner told LifeNews.com. “The ‘Reproductive FACT Act’ forces pregnancy resource centers and medical clinics to violate consciences, free speech, and religious beliefs. This violation of the foundational roots of the American Republic will not stand.”
Pro-life organizations are considering an appeal.
— The Horn editorial team