SAN FRANCISCO (ChurchMilitant.com) - Three pro-life abortion crisis pregnancy centers are fighting a California law forcing them to promote abortion.
A brief was filed in federal court Wednesday by the Liberty Council on behalf of three pro-life clinis: His Nesting Place in Long Beach, Pregnancy and Family Resource Center in San Bernardino, and Birth Choice of the Desert in La Quinta. The lawsuit alleges Assembly Bill 775 (AB 775) violates their First Amendment rights of free speech and freedom of religion.
AB 775 — also called the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency (FACT) Act — was passed in November 2015 and became law on January 1. It forces all pro-life centers in California to post a notice announcing: "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."
They must also post disclaimers in two "clear and conspicuous" places notifying clients,
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).
Failure to post the notice results in a $500 fine for the first violation and $1,000 for each additional violation.
In a press release Wednesday, September 7, Mat Staver, founder of Liberty Council, commented: "AB 775 requires that these faith-based, crisis pregnancy centers utter a state-drafted, pro-abortion message and encourage women to commit human genocide."
He continued, "This unbelievable government mandate is an example of the evolution of political correctness. This law forces pregnancy help centers and staff to be puppets of the state and channel the state's abortion message. This forced speech violates the First Amendment."
Previously, several pregnancy centers filed injunctions in federal court to block the law, but the judges threw out the requests. Although judges admitted the law is "compelled speech," they ruled that the pregnancy centers are only required to provide "truthful, non-misleading information," noting it doesn't stop them from telling women they oppose abortion.
ChurchMilitant.com reported earlier that one crisis pregnancy center in Los Angeles submitted to the law after the L.A. City Attorney threatened it with a penalty of $2,500 for each day of non-compliance.
California attorney general Kamala Harris is named as a defendant in the new lawsuit. She commented previously 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 has a history of using her position as AG to push abortion and has 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.