Fresh off our brief in Masterpiece Cakeshop, Ltd. v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission, Concerned Women for America’s (CWA) legal team is already working on our next amicus (friend of the court) brief to be submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. This week, the Court said it would hear arguments in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra. This is an important pro-life, First Amendment case where it is crucial that the voices of conservative women are well represented. Rest assured, CWA will answer the call and represent your voice before the Court.
Our involvement will be especially sweet for our leadership team in California. CWA of California fought long and hard against the vicious law that is being challenged in this case.
California’s Reproductive FACT Act (AB 775) was specifically designed to curtail pro-life clinics’ effectiveness by requiring them promote abortion services. Unfortunately, our efforts were not well received in such a liberal state, and the law was passed.
Under this law, pro-life clinics must post printed notices in several languages urging women to contact state facilities where they can get a free or low-cost abortion. The notice must read: “California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [insert the telephone number].”
It also asked unlicensed pregnancy centers to put up large signs saying: “This facility is not licensed as a medical facility by the State of California and has no licensed medical provider who provides or directly supervises the provision of services.”
Both the district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California denied NIFLA’s motion for a preliminary injunction to halt the implementation of the law. Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, and we hope the Justices will reverse the lower court’s decisions and protect the constitutional rights of pro-life clinics.
As you probably notice, in this case, the law seeks to both restrict speech and force unwanted speech, under threat of considerable fines. Even more dangerous is the fact that it is all motivated by a specific ideology — by the content of the speech. The purpose is to discredit pro-life views and elevate abortion as a legitimate form of family planning.
The engagement of government in such pernicious manipulation of political and cultural debates through the violation of the constitutional rights of its citizens under threat of law is not only shameful and dangerous, but it is simply unconstitutional. Whatever your views on abortion, we should all agree that the government should not harrass its citizens in this way.
Please pray for your legal team here in Washington, D.C., as we prepare to represent your voice before the Court.