This is the latest installment in a year-end series looking back at some of the numerous victories by the ACLJ in 2018.
We won another major victory for Life when the Supreme Court held that California cannot force pro-life pregnancy centers into mouthing a government-dictated message motivated by that state’s pro-abortion ideology.
This is a resounding victory for the First Amendment right to free speech and the ability of pregnancy resource centers to fulfill their pro-life mission free from government coercion or interference.
We became involved after the State of California passed the so-called “Reproductive FACT Act,” a bill crafted in part by the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League (NARAL).
In essence, the law forced pro-life pregnancy centers to promote free, taxpayer funded abortion – the very thing these pro-life centers exist to stand against – as an acceptable option to desperate mothers in need.
The FACT Act required licensed pro-life centers to advertise the availability of free and low-cost abortion services to all their clients.
The ACLJ filed suit against the State of California on behalf of three licensed pro-life centers before the law went into effect. As part of that lawsuit, we sought a preliminary injunction, i.e., a court order prohibiting the State from enforcing the law until a final decision is made by the district court on the merits of our case.
We argued that by adopting this law, California ignored decades of Supreme Court decisions that stand for the unequivocal proposition that the government cannot compel private speech without satisfying rigorous judicial scrutiny.
As the Court has said time and again: “it is a basic First Amendment principle that freedom of speech prohibits the government from telling people what they must say.”
The Supreme Court granted our certiorari petition in our case defending pro-life pregnancy centers and vacated the decision of the Ninth Circuit, and sent our case back to the court of appeals “for further consideration.” And just last month the trial court issued an order permanently blocking the California law from ever impending on the First Amendment rights of our clients and other pro-life centers.
It is a total and complete vindication of our efforts to protect the First Amendment free speech rights of pro-life pregnancy centers in their mission to save babies.
With your support, we’ve successfully been battling to defeat Big Abortion and their abortion-friendly lawmakers and save innocent unborn babies. But our work is far from done.
To help the ACLJ continue to have the resources we need to make these victories possible and continue these fights, please consider making a Tax-Deductible donation to the ACLJ through our year-end Matching Challenge. Your gift will be DOUBLED dollar-for-dollar through the end of the year.
You can read more in the ACLJ’s 2018 Victories series here.
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