The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled, 5-4, in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, holding NIFLA is likely to succeed on its claim that a California state law that forced pro-life pregnancy centers to point the way to abortion is unconstitutional.
The Court turned back California’s law forcing pro-life pregnancy centers to point the way to abortion. The Court ruled that NIFLA is likely to win its claim that the government cannot compel pro-life groups and individuals to express a message that conflicts with their beliefs.
There are two components to the law, AB 775, which applied to pro-life centers:
- Medically licensed pregnancy centers: The law required these centers to post or distribute a statement pointing the way to abortion.
- Unlicensed pregnancy resource centers: The law required these centers to post signs and state in all their digital or print advertising they are not medically licensed clinics, which severely inhibited their ability to share the pro-life message.
Pro-life pregnancy centers provide free practical resources, information, and emotional support to women—no matter what choices those women make. The government should not enact unconstitutional laws that undermine the good work of these groups. The Supreme Court was right to put a stop to that.
It was, also, right of the Supreme Court to protect the pregnancy centers’ free speech. As Alliance Defending Freedom President, CEO, and General Counsel Michael Farris stated,
“No one should be forced by the government to express a message that violates their convictions, especially on deeply divisive subjects such as abortion. In this case, the government used its power to force pro-life pregnancy centers to provide free advertising for abortion. The Supreme Court said that the government can’t do that, and that it must respect pro-life beliefs. Tolerance and respect for good-faith differences of opinion are essential in a diverse society like ours. They enable us to coexist peacefully with one another. If we want to have freedom for ourselves, we have to extend it to others.”
Pro-life pregnancy centers provide valuable resources to thousands of women every day. NFA is proud to support their work and are grateful for this U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding their First Amendment Rights.