CA Judge Rules Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers Don’t Have to Advertise Abortions

By Nancy Flory Published on November 1, 2017

A California Superior Court judge ruled Monday that pro-life pregnancy centers will not be required to post information about state-paid abortions to their clients, Life Site News reported.

Riverside County Superior Court Justice Gloria C. Trask ruled in favor of a permanent injunction against the state’s 2015 “Reproductive FACT Act,” an Obama-era law that required pro-life centers to post signage and tell their clients about California’s Medi-Cal program. The Medi-Cal program provides state-funded abortions and birth control.

Pro-life centers that did not comply could be fined $500 for the first violation and $1,000 for each additional violation. 

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Judge Trask ruled that the Reproductive FACT Act violated free speech and that “compelled speech of a political or cultural nature is not the tool of a free government.” She added:

Compelled speech must be subject to reasonable limitation. This statute compels the clinic to speak words with which it profoundly disagrees when the State has numerous alternative methods of publishing its message. In this case, however virtuous the State’s ends, they do not justify its means.

“We are thrilled with Judge Trask’s ruling, which is a huge victory for free speech,” said Scott Scharpen, head administrator for “Go Mobile For Life.” “The whole notion of being compelled to share information with our patients about abortion availability, which is contrary to our mission and purpose, is fundamentally wrong.” He added, “Lives will be saved because of this ruling.”

Go Mobile For Life is a mobile ultrasound unit that works with women in Riverside County. 

Liberty Counsel Founder Mat Staver also hailed the news. His religious liberty law firm represents three faith-based pro-life pregnancy centers that are fighting the law in federal court. “To force a pro-life speaker to encourage death to innocent children is inconceivable,” Staver said in a statement. “It is refreshing to see a court reach a correct conclusion that goes to the heart of free speech protections.” 

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied Liberty Counsel’s request for a preliminary injunction against the law. Liberty Counsel has appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The High Court is scheduled to hear their petition on November 9, 2017. 

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