Clinics’ free speech rights trump an “unduly burdensome” state disclosure requirement.
Pro-life clinics offering pregnant women alternatives to abortion won a major free speech victory today.
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to block a California law requiring pregnancy centers post referrals to state-funded abortion providers and birth control resources, forcing them to promote services that violate their beliefs.
In National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, the court ruled that the state’s 2015 Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency (FACT) Act “targets speakers, not speech, and imposes an unduly burdensome disclosure requirement that will chill their protected speech.”
“We applaud the US Supreme Court for sending a clear statement today that pro-life Americans cannot be discriminated against and targeted by government,” stated Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America.
“To be clear, this case was not about abortion. Malicious abortion politics definitely were the motivation behind it, but the case centered on the inappropriate mandate of the state compelling pro-life clinics to promote abortion in violation of their consciences. The case was about forced speech.”
The president of the religious liberty law firm Becket, Mark Rienzi, summed up the ruling this way: “When it comes to important issues, the government doesn’t get to tell people what to believe, and it also doesn’t get to tell people what to say about it.”
Most of the 3,000 pregnancy clinics (also called “crisis pregnancy centers”) in the US are run by …
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