California's Crisis Pregnancy Center Law Gets Beaten to Rags By the Supreme Court

A pro-abortion rights supporter holds an umbrella that reads "#EndTheLies" during a rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, as the Supreme Court hears arguments in a free speech fight over California's attempt to regulate anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

A pro-abortion rights supporter holds an umbrella that reads “#EndTheLies” during a rally outside the Supreme Court in Washington, Tuesday, March 20, 2018, as the Supreme Court hears arguments in a free speech fight over California’s attempt to regulate anti-abortion crisis pregnancy centers. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)


If you can tell how effective a particular pro-life organization, personality or technique is by the level of hate and vitriol directed at them, then one has to conclude that Crisis Pregnancy Centers are the Delta Force and SEAL Team Six in the war against infanticide.


Crisis pregnancy centers in California have been instrumental in slowing the state-sponsored holocaust of the unborn in that state. This is how a pro-abort law journal article describes them

Crisis Pregnancy Centers (CPCs), also known as Limited Service Pregnancy Centers or Pregnancy Resource Centers, are pro-life, non-profit organizations that provide counseling and limited pregnancy services to women, usually free of charge. According to the Waxman Report, a 2006 U.S. House of Representatives report prepared for Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA), the purpose of CPCs is “to persuade teenagers and women with unplanned pregnancies to choose motherhood or adoption.”

Most CPCs have Christian foundations and are affiliated with and often funded by prominent anti-abortion organizations.19 The three primary pro-life institutions orchestrating CPC networks are Care Net, Heartbeat International, and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA). These umbrella organizations are explicit about their missions. For example, NIFLA’s website proclaims the organization’s vision is to provide CPCs with “legal resources and counsel to develop a network of life-affirming ministries in every community across the nation,” and to “work toward an abortion free America.”21 Similarly, Heartbeat International’s official mission statement is to “make abortion unwanted today and unthinkable for future generations.”


In order to try to silence these threats to the latter-day Moloch-worshippers in Sacramento, the California Legislature passed the Orwellian-named Reproductive FACT (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency) Act (AB-755) in October 2015. It required Crisis Pregnancy Centers to make information available on abortion. Any ads by a CPC had to include a State-approved disclaimer in up to 13 languages. And on and on.

The Ninth Circuit, naturally, found nothing wrong with this. And so the case arrived at the Supreme Court today where it was rather roughly handled. In fact, Kennedy and Sotomayor got a most amazing admission from California about the law:

Justice Anthony Kennedy, a pivotal vote to uphold a constitutional right to abortion, was openly hostile to that provision. And even liberals like Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan raised doubts about that portion of the law.

Kennedy said it seemed possible that a crisis pregnancy center that wanted to take out a billboard that said “Choose Life” would have to fill the ad with disclaimers that could consume half or more of the space.

“It seems to me that is an undue burden…and that should be enough to invalidate the statute,” Kennedy declared.

Sotomayor also said the application of the law to ads appears to go too far.

“That seems to me more burdensome and wrong,” Sotomayor said.

California Deputy Solicitor General Joshua Klein acknowledged that the law might be unconstitutional in some applications, but he encouraged the justices to return the issue to the lower courts to address specific concerns involving certain plaintiffs.

That did not sit well with Kennedy.

“You want me to have a remand to have them tell the court what a billboard is?” Kennedy scoffed.


The LA Times opined that all justices were in favor of striking down most, if not all, of the law:

But during Tuesday’s argument, most of the justices took sharp issue with all or parts of the California law. They said it was unfairly targeted at the faith-based centers. Doctors and for-profit clinics were exempted from the law.

“If it has been gerrymandered, that’s a serious issue,” said Justice Elena Kagan. Agreeing, Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said the law “has a lot of crazy exceptions. … What you’re left with is a very strange pattern, and, gee, it turns out just about the only clinics that are covered by this are pro-life clinics.”

Others said it violated the 1st Amendment by requiring these private clinics put out the state’s message. Justice Anthony M. Kennedy described the required notice as “mandating speech” that “alters the content of the message.”

Justice Neil M. Gorsuch agreed the state would want people to have “full information about their options,” but why put the burden on these centers? The state has “other means to provide messages. … It’s pretty unusual to force a private speaker to do that for you under the 1st Amendment,” he said.

This is what a danger to the First Amendment looks like. It involves the state requiring speech and prohibiting speech. It has nothing to do with Donald Trump being mean to Jim Acosta.



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