SCOTUS to Hear California FACT Act Case – Life and Speech Rights

SCOTUS considers law mandating pro-life pregnacy centers advertise a message with which they fundamentally disagree. Image Source: AP Photo/J. David Ake
SCOTUS considers law mandating pro-life pregnacy centers advertise a message with which they fundamentally disagree. Image Source: AP Photo/J. David Ake

The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates – a nationwide network of more than 1,400 pro-life pregnancy centers and medical clinics – will be making its case against the California Reproductive FACT Act to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) in 2018. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra will represent California’s effort to turn pro-life pregnancy centers and medical clinics into abortion referral agencies.

The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates. Image Source: nifla.org

The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates. Image Source: nifla.org

The decision of SCOTUS in this matter will have serious implications for freedom of speech in this country.

Under this California law, pro-life medical centers must post a sign in their waiting area informing patients how to get state-funded abortions. A phone number to call and get the abortion procedure started must be on the sign. Violations of the law could result in massive punitive fines that would potentially close down centers.

This persecution of pro-life pregnancy centers comes after state and federal courts in California, Illinois, Maryland, and elsewhere have found laws like the FACT Act to be unconstitutional free speech infringements.

Mandating that pro-life centers advertise a message with which they fundamentally disagree undercuts the very foundation of the First Amendment. Freedom of speech requires that the government allow speech with which it disagrees.

The abortion industry, as reported by The InterceptMother Jones, and elsewhere, has argued that compelling pro-life centers to refer for abortion is “informed consent.” Saying it is no different than abortion clinics required to provide informed consent information to mothers who seek abortion. However, the two are not the same.

Abortion informed consent lets the patient know it is a serious and irreversible surgical procedure. Not only does it take the life of an unborn child, but could also cause serious injury to the mother as well. As the Kermit Gosnell case in Philadelphia shows, women can be seriously maimed and even die from abortion.

Requiring informed consent laws to advise women seeking abortion of the serious medical risks involved is a well-accepted principle in the law. Further, informed consent laws, such as those requiring ultrasound disclosures and other information be provided to women procuring abortions, are necessary because abortion, as even stated by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade, objectively ends the life of an unborn child.

Finally, it should be noted that laws regulating abortion centers are targeting medical centers, not free speech, for regulation. Surgerical procedures should be regulated. Arguments to the contrary are merely abortion proponents attempting to get around the same disclosures and standards to which other medical centers doing heart, leg, and other surgeries are held.

NARAL Pro-Choice America, NARAL is often used as a short form of the name. The organization was formerly known as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, then the National Abortion Rights Action League, and later the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. Image Source: prochoiceamerica.org

NARAL Pro-Choice America, NARAL is often used as a short form of the name. The organization was formerly known as the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, then the National Abortion Rights Action League, and later the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. Image Source: prochoiceamerica.org

NARAL’s objections to the work of pro-life pregnancy centers are not related to women’s health, but rather to the pro-life philosophy of the centers. A Freedom of Information Act request in 2015 showed that a Montgomery County, Md. law with similar requirements as the FACT Act had been crafted solely because of NARAL’s opinion on abortion – not because of any alleged lack of care for women.

Normal limits to free speech involve an abuse of the right, generally resulting in damages, false reports, accusations, slander, libel, etc. No such damages are addressed in the unconstitutional FACT Act that NIFLA is fighting.

Based on other lower court rulings and objective review of the case, the Supreme Court will likely agree. Sometime in early 2018 they will rule on this case. It is expected to be a victory for the First Amendment and pro-life medical centers. However, past history with SCOTUS makes projecting a definite result problematic at best.

 

Source – H/T Thomas Glessner

Author, Advocate, Blogger & Zombie Aficionado. Air Force veteran and jack of all trades, with a wide range of experience with many different cultures around the world as well as working alongside both CEOs and average Joes. “Writing was never a goal or even vaguely contemplated as a career choice, it just happened, an accidental discovery of a talent and a passion.” A passion that has taken him in many directions from history to zombies to advocacy to News especially in this day and age of “Fake News” and “Alternative Facts.” The Truth Is Out There!

About the Author

Jon Britton
Author, Advocate, Blogger & Zombie Aficionado. Air Force veteran and jack of all trades, with a wide range of experience with many different cultures around the world as well as working alongside both CEOs and average Joes. "Writing was never a goal or even vaguely contemplated as a career choice, it just happened, an accidental discovery of a talent and a passion." A passion that has taken him in many directions from history to zombies to advocacy to News especially in this day and age of "Fake News" and "Alternative Facts." The Truth Is Out There!

1 Comment on "SCOTUS to Hear California FACT Act Case – Life and Speech Rights"

  1. Abortion is a choice that women are lucky enough to have available these days and whilst pro-lifers may not like it they have no right to interfere with that choice. They can put their case but should acknowledge that there are other opinions on the matter.

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