LOS ANGELES (ChurchMilitant.com) - A pro-life pregnancy center in California is complying with a law dictating it must promote abortion.
The Pregnancy Counseling Center in the Mission Hills neighborhood in Los Angeles is agreeing to provide abortion recommendations to clients or else it will have to pay steep fines.
The Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act was introduced in April 2015, passed by California senators in September, and signed into law in October by Gov. Jerry Brown — a former Jesuit seminarian.
The law went into effect on January 1, but the Pregnancy Counseling Center refused to comply. Los Angeles City attorney Mike Feuer gave the center until August 14 to comply, and it still refused. Feuer then filed a lawsuit requesting a penalty of $2,500 for each day of non-compliance.
On August 16 attorneys for the center notified Feuer it would submit to the law.
Several pregnancy centers filed injunctions in federal court to block the law, but the judges threw out the requests. Although the judges admitted the law is "compelled speech," they ruled the pregnancy centers are only required to provide "truthful, non-misleading information," noting it doesn't stop them from telling women they oppose abortion.
Part of the law reads,
Unfortunately, there are nearly 200 licensed and unlicensed clinics known as crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) in California whose goal is to interfere with women's ability to be fully informed and exercise their reproductive rights, and that CPCs pose as full-service women's health clinics, but aim to discourage and prevent women from seeking abortions.
The law requires all CPCs to provide clients with a disclaimer stating,
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 (telephone number).
It further mandates that notices must be distributed digitally "at the time of check-in or arrival" or be displayed publicly with "22-point type," with any copies distributed to be printed in "no less than 14-point font."
Pregnancy centers offering medical services must also post disclaimers in two "clear and conspicuous" places. This posting, to be printed "in no less than 48-point type," is to notify clients, "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."
California attorney general Kamala Harris commented that she was "proud to have co-sponsored" the law, "which ensures that all women have equal access to comprehensive reproductive health care services, and that they have the facts they need to make informed decisions about their health and their lives."
Harris' 100 percent pro-abortion history has earned her multiple endorsements from the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) Pro-Choice America political action committee, a registered political activist organization that seeks out and supports pro-abortion candidates to ensure the suppression of pro-life legislation.
Protestant pastor Scott Scharpen, who runs a mobile pregnancy clinic, commented, "I will not post that notice in our clinic. I would rather close the clinic than post that notice."
He continues, "If the California state government gets away with telling pregnancy clinics what to say and even how to say it, then all faith-based businesses are at risk of being bullied into delivering the government's mandated speech."