Trump’s SCOTUS Pick: A Perfect Choice to Help Women and Children

Planned Parenthood's allies in government are threatening pro-life pregnancy centers and pregnancy medical clinics.

By Thomas Glessner & Anne O'Connor Published on February 11, 2017

President Donald Trump has upheld his campaign promise to put a pro-life justice on the U.S. Supreme Court by nominating Tenth Circuit Court judge Neil Gorsuch.

Gorsuch supported the Little Sisters of the Poor in their lawsuit against the Obama administration’s abortifacient mandate. He backed Utah Governor Gary Herbert when Herbert attempted to defund Planned Parenthood, and has written a book against assisted suicide. Further, as Ethics and Public Policy Center President Ed Whalen points out, Gorsuch wrote in his book that the high court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide lacked constitutional basis.

Good News for Pro-Life Centers

All of this is good news for pro-life pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) and pregnancy medical clinics (PMCs), whose life-saving assistance to women and children is now being threatened by Planned Parenthood’s allies in government. The future of these centers may very well be determined by the Supreme Court.

PRCs and PRMs are pro-life and, as such, do not provide abortion referrals and abortion. They also save taxpayers money. According to a report co-authored by the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), these groups saved taxpayers $100 million in health care services in 2010 alone, and the compassionate volunteers dedicated 5.7 million hours to helping vulnerable women.

California passed in 2015 a law mandating that pro-life medical clinics post a sign which provides patients with information on how to obtain a state-funded abortion. The sign must provide a telephone number to call to get the abortion service started. Pro-life centers that refused to comply in Los Angeles have been threatened with punitive fines which, if imposed, would shut them down.

Illinois’ law is arguably worse. It mandates that all physicians must, regardless of their consciences, provide abortion referrals to patients. Refusal could lead to the loss of medical licenses. This means that pro-life pregnancy medical clinics, which legally must provide medical services under the direction and supervision of a licensed physician, would be forced to either shut down or become abortion referral agencies.

Privately Funded and Free of Charge

Unlike Planned Parenthood, which backs both the Illinois and California measures even as it claims to have a right to taxpayer funding, pregnancy resource centers are almost entirely privately funded. Also unlike Planned Parenthood, they provide material provisions, housing and adoption services, education on abortion and alternatives, ongoing counseling, and medical services such as ultrasound confirmation of pregnancy and STI testing and treatment.

And unlike Planned Parenthood, such services are provided free of charge.

NIFLA, which is a network of more than 1,400 pro-life pregnancy centers, has challenged both state laws in federal court. Regretfully, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against NIFLA, in stark contrast to federal courts in New York, Maryland, and Texas. An appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court is being pursued, which given the current 4-4 divide makes Trump’s pick of Gorsuch key to protecting pro-life consciences as well as the right of mothers to choose life.

 

Thomas Glessner, J.D. is the founder and president of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates and is a bar-accepted attorney at the U.S. Supreme Court. Anne O’Connor is Vice President of Legal Affairs for NIFLA and is a bar-accepted attorney at the U.S. Supreme Court.

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