California must pay pro-life group’s legal fees following crisis pregnancy ruling
February 14, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) — A California federal district court has ordered the state of California to pay Liberty Counsel $399,000 for attorneys' fees and costs regarding the victory in Mountain Right to Life v. Becerra, which now prohibits the state from enforcing the California Reproductive FACT Act, a law which compelled pro-life crisis pregnancy centers to promote abortion.
After the Supreme Court ruled in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra that crisis pregnancy centers cannot be forced to promote abortions, the state agreed the law was unconstitutional and a permanent injunction was entered blocking the law. Now California is required to pay $399,000 to Liberty Counsel for attorney's fees and costs.
Liberty Counsel represents three pro-life crisis pregnancy centers in Southern California: Mountain Right to Life, known as the Pregnancy and Family Resource Center (San Bernardino), His Nesting Place (Long Beach) and Birth Choice of the Desert (La Quinta).
The three pro-life crisis pregnancy centers are faith-based and offer women pregnancy resources, counseling, advice and alternatives to abortion. The California Reproductive FACT Act directly opposed their mission and forced them to endorse the government language promoting the abortion message on their front door, in their waiting room, online and in every advertisement for the crisis pregnancy center. The message had to be printed in 48-point font and in up to 13 languages or the centers could be fined $500 for the first violation and $1,000 for each additional violation.
"This is a great victory for children, mothers, and families," said Mat Staver, Founder and Chairman of Liberty Counsel. "Pro-life pregnancy centers will no longer be compelled to speak a message that goes against their mission to save the lives of babies and women. The law violated freedom of speech. The First Amendment protects the right to speak and the right not to speak. Faith-based pro-life pregnancy centers cannot be forced to promote human genocide," said Staver.
Liberty Counsel is an international nonprofit, litigation, education, and policy organization dedicated to advancing religious freedom, the sanctity of life, and the family since 1989, by providing pro bono assistance and representation on these and related topics. Liberty Counsel provides broadcast quality TV interviews via Hi-Def Skype and LTN at no cost.