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Pro-Life Advocates Sue Vermont Over Laws Targeting Crisis Pregnancy Centers

(AP Photo/Mark Sherman)

Pro-abortion Democrats are intent on convincing as many mothers as possible to terminate their pregnancies. After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last year, Democrats have not only been passing laws making it easier to obtain the procedure but have also been trying to use the power of the government to squash organizations offering alternatives to abortion.

Vermont state lawmakers recently passed SB 37, a measure designed to weaken the efforts of crisis pregnancy centers and other pro-life organizations by censoring them and limiting their activities.

Supporters of the law claim it will ensure that mothers looking for options are not deceived. But opponents highlight the reality that it will impede organizations from offering much-needed services for mothers with unexpected pregnancies:

This spring Vermont joined California and Connecticut in regulating the speech of pro-life pregnancy centers, claiming they routinely dupe abortion-seeking women about the services they provide and share misinformation.

This week the Green Mountain State joined them in getting sued for alleged First and Fourteenth Amendment infringements.

The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, a pregnancy center network, and two of its seven Vermont members are seeking an injunction against several officials, including state Attorney General Charity Clark, with authority to enforce various provisions of SB 37 – being characterized in such legal language as “vague and viewpoint-discriminatory” speech code “not narrowly tailored to any asserted state interest.”

Clark’s office did not respond to a request for its response to the lawsuit.

The Supreme Court ruled five years ago that California’s law was likely unconstitutional in a case also brought by the institute, and a federal court soon followed with a permanent injunction.

Through this legislation, lawmakers created a category known as “limited-services pregnancy centers.” This subjects these organizations to additional scrutiny from the government. The measure is ostensibly supposed to prevent crisis pregnancy centers from using advertising methods that are “untrue or clearly designed to mislead the public about the nature of services provided.”

Under SB 37, these organizations are also not allowed to offer non-medical services, counseling, and others unless they are provided by licensed healthcare professionals. This means these groups will have a harder time providing free pregnancy tests, educational resources, and other services. The lawsuit alleges that the law would place an undue burden on these organizations using exorbitant penalties for alleged violations.

What is also noteworthy about Vermont’s law is that it also defines these organizations’ advertising as “an act of commerce,” which makes no sense given that they offer their services for free. The lawsuit notes that abortion clinics, on the other hand, have “a financial interest in performing as many abortions as possible.”

Violations of this law can result in fines of $1,000 to $5,000 and the potential revocation of the organization’s license. Even further, the state government does not even require a formal complaint to launch an investigation.

It is not difficult for an honest and sane person to see where this is going, is it?

Vermont’s pro-abortion legislators, like those in other states, want to weaponize the government against organizations whose mission is to decrease abortion and save babies. They seek to use whatever means necessary to impede those who would try to convince a mother to keep her child instead of aborting it.

As usual, I like to draw the results of these laws out to their logical conclusions. If you have an organization in Vermont and you want to provide free pregnancy tests (that can easily be purchased at a pharmacy) or other resources, the law requires that a licensed professional be the one furnishing these services. If you happen to see that this whole thing is a load of bovine excrement and you do it anyway, they will extort $1,000 to $5,000 from you under the threat of state-sponsored physical violence against you if you choose not to pay it.

They are willing to do this to make sure that more babies are terminated during pregnancy. They don’t want the opposition to have a chance at the mothers the pro-abortion lobby is targeting. Hopefully, those standing against this law will have success in the courts.

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