Know Your Rights: Protecting Pro-Life Pregnancy Resource Centers


Olivia Summers

May 24, 2023

4 min read

Pro Life



Pregnancy Resource Centers (PRCs) are life-affirming and often faith-based organizations that exist to provide critical aid to women who are facing difficult or unplanned pregnancies to help them give their children the gift of life. They offer, free of charge, a variety of educational, medical, and material resources and assistance to millions of women and their babies annually.

These centers are on the front line of the fight for life, and the abortion industry cannot stand the work that they do; indeed, radical abortionists have gone to great lengths to discredit, burden, and shut them down. These pro-life centers have come under increasing scrutiny in the days since the leak of the Supreme Court’s draft opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson – which ultimately overturned the Court’s erroneous decision in Roe v. Wade.

In 2022, PRCs experienced vandalism, physical destruction of property by groups such as “Jane’s Revenge” and “Ruth Sent Us,” and calls by pro-abortion politicians to be shut down permanently. President Biden’s Administration also put pressure on PRCs by issuing Executive orders to target PRCs. They also faced state and local legislative efforts to silence their pro-life views – and these efforts have carried over into 2023. In addition, search engines, such as Google, have drastically limited the online reach PRCs have, keeping their pro-life message from reaching the critical audience it needs to reach.

All these attacks are working to distract PRCs and deflect their ability to reach women and preborn babies in need. Often, the PRCs feel isolated, overwhelmed, and unable to fight back. The ACLJ is here to provide legal support. Legal efforts are developing to help PRCs meet the new challenges that they are facing in the post-Dobbs world. One thing that has not changed is that PRCs are organizations that – like other organizations – have constitutional rights.

These rights include both the freedom to speak and refrain from speech, as well as the freedom of religion and conscience rights. The Supreme Court and circuit courts have issued several favorable opinions upholding constitutional protections for these liberties.

A key example isNIFLA v. Becerra. In NIFLA, the Supreme Court found a law passed in California known as the “FACT Act” violated PRCs’ right to free speech by placing an undue burden on them. The Supreme Court held that the state has “no power to restrict expression because of its message, its ideas, its subject matter, or its content” conveyed. This protects both the right to speak and the right to remain silent under the Constitution. Thus, California could not compel PRCs to speak a message that violated their religious beliefs. (The ACLJ won a companion case at the Supreme Court, LivingWell Medical Clinic v. Becerra.)

In a similar case, the ACLJ represented Evergreen Association, a PRC in New York, because of New York City’s infringement on free speech rights under the U.S. and New York constitutions. In Evergreen Association v. City of New York, the Second Circuit Court of Appeals struck down two provisions of anti-life legislation that compelled PRCs to provide information regarding abortion and abortion-related services, even in their own advertisements promoting life, which contravenes the very purpose of PRCs’ existence.

Likewise, the ACLJ assisted a PRC in Baltimore over an ordinance compelling overt statements in PRC waiting rooms stating they do not offer or recommend abortions. The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals warned of the dangers of compelled speech: “Weaponizing the means of government against ideological foes risks a grave violation of one of our nation’s dearest principles” – the protections required by the First Amendment.

We hope that the attached White Paper provides further clarity on the rights of and challenges facing PRCs across the country. For decades, the ACLJ had provided legal assistance and representation to PRCs whose constitutional rights and freedoms have been violated – winning many significant victories at the Supreme Court and across the country. If your PRC needs assistance in this area, please contact us at