Supreme Court examining California law targeting pro-life pregnancy care centers

By March 26, 2018
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USA (MNN) — In 2015, California passed a law that required pro-life pregnancy care centers to post free advertising for the abortion industry. But now this law is being challenged in the United States Supreme Court.

Last Tuesday, the Supreme Court heard arguments in the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra case. Both conservative and liberal justices reportedly voiced concerns about the California law, saying it seemed the ordinance was “gerrymandered” to target pro-life clinics and presented a “very suspicious pattern”.

“This really totally makes sense that the Supreme Court should uphold the sanctity of life or pro-life ministries,” says Tom Lothamer with Life Matters Worldwide. “But there are many, many people on the other side of the aisle that feel they want to compel pro-life organizations to advertise for abortion facilities and those who agree with that.”

pregnancy, pregnant, woman, mother, infant, babyPro-life ministries feel hopeful as they wait for a ruling sometime in the next few months.

“They really stated the facts well and, very clearly, it appears to be a freedom of religion discussion. There was apparently some very good points made. There seems to be some, can I say, sympathy for our side on this and I really think that we’re encouraged that this might actually come in the favor of the pro-life ministries in this country.”

The statute was first adopted in California because the state believed over 200 pregnancy care centers were using “deceptive advertising and counseling practices that often confuse [or] misinform” pregnant women.

But, as Lothamer points, out the law is very one-sided. “Why isn’t Planned Parenthood for the most part to have big signs advertising where the nearest pregnancy care center is? It just doesn’t make sense that they would make someone who has dearly held convictions such as the sanctity of human life…turn right around and advertise where someone can actually take a life through abortion. It’s just incongruous and it doesn’t make any sense.

“But to the pro-abortion folks, that’s what they want. They actually want to get rid of the pregnancy care centers and this is one of the tactics they feel they can use, especially because these laws do have financial repercussions if not followed.”

Michael Farris, lead counsel for NIFLA’s case and president of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) stated in Tuesday’s court session, “A government that tells you what you can’t say is dangerous, but a government that tells you what you must say—under threat of severe punishment—is alarming.”

The decision on this case in the Supreme Court will likely affect similar cases and help set a precedent for future rulings.

Lothamer says, “This will also have ramifications for a similar law in Hawaii and then another law in Illinois…which also adds that medical doctors, pro-life doctors have to refer women for abortion, tell where they can get that abortion, which is totally against their beliefs.”

The first thing he suggests believers can do is stay informed. Some resources for sanctity of human life issues and updates include Family Research Council, Focus on the Family, and National Institute of Family and Life Advocates.

But it can’t stop at staying informed. And it can’t even stop at advocating for the sanctity of human life.

As the Apostle Paul says in 1 Corinthians 13:2, “If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I understood all of God’s secret plans and possessed all knowledge, and if I had such faith that I could move mountains, but didn’t love others, I would be nothing.”

So what else can we do? Reach out with Christ’s love.

“Regardless of how this case goes, God has still called us to reach out to those who are suffering, those who have tremendous needs,” says Lothamer. “We need to understand what it means to be made in God’s image and, based on that, what does God want us to do to protect his image? In other words, to care for those in need — not only issues of abortion. But what about sexual slavery? What about homelessness and some of these other things where we can actually engage in our community to try to help solve some of these problems, offer ministry to them, [and] support ministries that do that?”

Click here to learn more about Life Matters Worldwide and their pro-life resources.

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