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LEXINGTON, KY – “The court affirmed today that government should not force people to say or do things in which they don’t believe,” said Martin Cothran, spokesman for The Family Foundation. “No one should be forced to provide free advertising for the abortion industry – least of all pro-life pregnancy centers.”
The U.S. Supreme Court turned back California’s law – AB 775 – which forced pro-life pregnancy centers to point women toward abortion services. The Court ruled that the government was wrong to compel pro-life groups and individuals to express a message, in this case, one that conflicts with their beliefs.
“No one should be targeted by the government for peacefully living out their beliefs. The state of California manufactured this law specifically to target pro-life pregnancy centers because the beliefs of those operating the centers conflicts with the beliefs of those in power,” said Cothran. “The Supreme Court was right to strike that down.”
There are two components to California law that applied to pregnancy resource centers: 1) One forced medically licensed centers to post or distribute a statement pointing the way to abortion; the other 2) forced unlicensed centers to post signs and state in all their digital or print advertising they are not medically licensed clinics – squelching their ability to get their own message out.
Justice Thomas, writing for the majority, said the law “targets speakers, not speech, and imposes an unduly burdensome disclosure requirement that will chill their protected speech.” We think the Court got it right on this one.