Legal Fight for Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers Moves Forward | American Center for Law and Justice
  Search  |  Login  |  Register

ACLJ Profile Completion

Verified

CPC Legal Fight Moves Forward

By Geoffrey Surtees1477677470564

As explained in more detail here, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently, but only preliminarily, upheld a California law requiring faith-based, pro-life pregnancy centers to tell their clients upfront that might be able to have a free abortion elsewhere.

One doesn’t have to think long and hard to see this ruling as tragic setback for free speech rights.

The Supreme Court has long held that, as a general rule, the government may not require people to speak against their conscience -- just as it may not silence people against their will.  Based on this firm First Amendment principle, the Supreme Court famously ruled that students do not have to recite the Pledge of Allegiance, even if the state says they must.  It held that New Hampshire couldn’t force a Jehovah’s Witness to display the state’s motto, “Live Free or Die,” on the license plate of his car.  The Court declared unconstitutional a state statute requiring professional fundraisers to disclose certain financial information before making any donation requests.

In sum, governmental compulsion of speech, especially under pain of financial penalties, is highly disfavored under our Constitution.  If the government wants to disseminate an ideological message of its own, the government has the wherewithal to speak for itself, without having to conscript citizens into speaking that message for it.

Despite all this, the Ninth Circuit has held (at least for now) that the State of California can compel crisis pregnancy centers to utter a message that wholly contradicts their mission and identity.

Today, we filed a petition with the court asking that the entire Ninth Circuit review the three judge panel decision from two weeks ago.  Called a “petition for rehearing en banc,” today’s filing argues that the ruling conflicts squarely with decisions of the Supreme Court, other federal courts of appeal, and even prior decisions of the Ninth Circuit itself.

Given the decision’s impact on the free speech of our clients (as well as others not before the court), we believe that further judicial review is critical.  Crisis pregnancy centers provide untold help to women in need.  We must do everything we can to help them help others.

We’ll continue to keep you updated as this important case moves forward.

Stop the Shutdown of Pro-Life Centers

Pro Life  Signatures

LOGIN

Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.

$20
$40
$60
$120
$240
Make this a monthly tax-deductible gift.

We’re engaged in a comprehensive legal strategy to defend pro-life pregnancy centers. Stand with us. Have your gift doubled today.

Email Address is required.
First Name is required.
Last Name is required.
Credit Card Number is required.
Verification Code is required.
Expiration Month is required.
Expiration Year is required.
Receive the latest news, updates, and contribution opportunities from ACLJ.
Encourage your friends to sign and donate by sharing this petition.
Latest in
Pro Life

Defending Crisis Pregnancy Centers

By Erik Zimmerman1519138800000

Crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) are local, non-profit organizations dedicated to helping people who are facing difficult decisions concerning a pregnancy. They are often faith-based and would never refer for abortions due to their religious and moral beliefs. In fact, their very reason for...

read more

Life is Beautiful and Worth Fighting For

By Olivia Summers1518451963196

Since 2010, Gerber has held a “cutest baby” contest, and the winning baby is awarded with cash prizes and title of “Gerber Spokesbaby” for the year. Gerber “choose[s] the baby who best exemplifies Gerber’s longstanding heritage of recognizing that every baby is a Gerber baby.” This year, Gerber...

read more

U.N. Seeks to Redefine Life to Justify Deaths

By ACLJ.org1518210229339

Committee members at the United Nations seem confused about the definition of “the right to life” as they currently work to reinterpret those words to justify abortion, even for babies with disabilities. Article 6 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Right (ICCPR) states: “Every...

read more

Cecile Richards Steps Down From Planned Parenthood

By ACLJ.org1517523759171

Just days after the 45th anniversary of Roe v. Wade and the court-ordered legalization of abortion, Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood announced she would be retiring after twelve of arguably the most profitable and controversial years in the history of the abortion giant. One thing...

read more