Can gov’t force pro-lifers to promote abortion? Key case at U.S. Supreme Court today
Alert: Rally in front of the United States Supreme Court, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, 9am-12 Noon.
WASHINGTON DC, March 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a key case today on the pro-life movement’s right to free speech.
An Alliance Defending Freedom attorney will stand before America’s highest court to defend pro-life pregnancy centers from being forced to advertise for abortion.
The pro-life baton in the case is carried by the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), a powerhouse pro-life legal organization representing nearly 1,500 member pregnancy centers in the U.S.
At the heart of this case is “the unconstitutional California law which is compelling the staff and volunteers of pro-life pregnancy centers to violate their consciences and promote tax-funded abortions,” said David Bereit, former CEO of 40 Days for Life.
Pro-life advocates say the case is significant for the rights to freedom of speech, conscience, and religion of all citizens.
“What they’re trying to do is silence the ability of people who advocate for the pro-life position to be able to freely speak their message, and that’s what we’re debating in the Supreme Court of the United States,” said Michael Farris, CEO, President, General Counsel and of the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) in a recent video statement. The State of California is “not trying to do anything other than to facilitate people choosing abortion, and forcing pro-lifers to be the facilitators.”
“NIFLA helps with legal information and other kinds of practical, best practices information so that these [pregnancy] centers are extraordinarily effective in reaching women with the idea that life is a great choice for them,” continued Farris, the lead attorney who will argue the case before the Supreme Court. “We’re about defending freedom of speech and the free exercise of religion. And this case is a direct assault on not only free speech in a pro-life context, but all free speech.”
“If the government can force you to give a message that’s contrary to what you believe, there is no limit to that principle and it’s extraordinarily dangerous,” he added.
“The abortion industry is now working to roll this out and export this strong-arm tactic to other states which is unconscionable,” explained Bereit. “The government is using the very walls in the waiting rooms of pro-life pregnancy centers as billboards to advertise for abortions.”
“The most important free speech case in a generation”
“The media is already calling this ‘the most important free speech case in a generation’ with significant and far-reaching ramifications,” said Bereit.
In particular, pro-life centers are fighting to maintain their right not to speak and to not have to post signs within their walls that are essentially posters advertising for the abortion industry.
If the Supreme Court were to allow the current ruling to stand, failure of centers to comply with this abortion promotion mandate will result in fines and penalties that could close their doors for good.
The California law compelling pro-life pregnancy staff and volunteers to promote abortion is “like the government forcing the American Lung Association to promote cigarettes,” said Bereit.
Tony Perkins, President of the Family Research Council, offered a similar analogy, saying that making pregnancy centers promote abortion is “like the government forcing Alcoholics Anonymous to serve cocktails” at their meetings. He added that “non profit organizations should not have to make statements that contradict not only their speech, but their stated missions.”
Farris had previously said that while the offensive California law claims to be aimed at regulating a lot of different groups within the Golden State, in reality it, “just falls on pro-life pregnancy centers.”
In other words, this law is custom tailored solely to place pro-life efforts and only pro-life efforts in the crosshairs.
“We’re all standing together, shoulder to shoulder on this before the Supreme Court,” continued the lead attorney who will argue the case before the nine justices.
Pro-life supporters across the country are being asked to show up on the steps of the United States Supreme Court from 9am-12pm, tomorrow, Tuesday, March 20, 2018 for a rally as the justices inside hear oral arguments in the NIFLA v. Becerra case.