A Reflection on the Abortion Industry’s Attempt to Squelch Organizational Freedoms
Nearly one year ago, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) affirmed the rights of pregnancy centers by striking down a state law that violated basic freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution. That ruling affirmed the rights of free speech and freedom of religion.
NIFLA vs. Becerra
In the landmark case NIFLA vs. Becerra, the SCOTUS reviewed a California law that mandated pregnancy centers post a sign in their waiting rooms advertising abortion services in the area. The law, titled “The Reproductive Fact Act” which passed in 2015, required the sign to be created in large font and in “all primary languages” spoken in the county or city where the pregnancy center was located. For centers in Los Angeles County alone, the number of languages/signs would have amounted to at least 13.
In 2016, NIFLA (The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates) sued the state of California on behalf of the hundreds of pro-life pregnancy centers in the state. The case went all the way to the United States Supreme Court, and on June 26, 2018 the Court sided with NIFLA in a 5-4 decision. Justices Thomas and Kennedy wrote that the California law was discriminatory regarding “content” and “viewpoint,” and was prejudiced against pro-life centers because the state legislature didn’t like the message of such organizations.
Other states, including Hawaii, had passed similar laws, which will not be enforced due to the Court’s decision. Freedom of religion (a pro-life center was housed in a church in Hawaii, and that church would have had to post information on where women could obtain abortions) and freedom of speech were protected by the SCOTUS’ decision.
“NIFLA vs. Becerra protects these two foundational freedoms. In doing so, it preserves the American constitutional republic,” said Thomas Glessner NIFLA’s president, and Ann O’Connor, NIFLA’s vice president of legal affairs, in a recent joint statement.
Continuing the Battle for Life
Despite this important court decision, abortion activists, including Planned Parenthood, continue to stir their supporters with rants and false narratives, such as ‘expose fake clinics’ and ‘PHCs lie to women about abortion.’ Although the more than 2,500 pregnancy help centers and pregnancy medical clinics like True Care do not provide or refer for abortion, we do educate women on all three of their options, including abortion. We provide facts, not falsehood. We provide true choice – the option of choosing abortion, adoption, or parenting – by giving the women who walk through our doors relevant and accurate education on each of those choices. We also provide them with resources, including parenting and sexual risk avoidance education, and with community agency information to help them with education, jobs, housing, and other relevant services. Other centers provide similar services, and some even walk with their clients through the first few years of a child’s life. Additionally, at True Care, we can help patients with Medicaid – lack of insurance is one reason some women choose to abort. We also offer women the opportunity to see their unborn on the ultrasound screen. Does Planned Parenthood do any of that? Who is really the ‘fake clinic?’
As we continue this journey battling for women’s lives and the lives of their unborn, we are hopeful that each life we touch, no matter what choice a woman makes, bears fruit in some way. That could be a referral to another woman experiencing an unplanned pregnancy; it could be a patient choosing to follow Christ; or it could be a woman choosing to parent or to make an adoption plan instead of abort. We continue to fight this battle of light vs. darkness, with God as our leader, and organizations like NIFLA willing to combat the abortion activists in court on behalf of centers like ours.