Pro-life pregnancy centers offering women alternatives to abortion won a major free speech victory on Tuesday, Christianity Today reported.
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 to block a California law requiring pregnancy centers post referrals to state-funded abortion providers and birth control resources, forcing them to promote services that violate their beliefs, CT stated.
CT associate editor, Kate Shellnutt, reported that Christian and pro-life groups celebrated the decision. The legal outcome follows several similar local and state-level reversals across the country in recent years.
“We applaud the US Supreme Court for sending a clear statement today that pro-life Americans cannot be discriminated against and targeted by government,” stated Penny Nance, CEO and president of Concerned Women for America.
“To be clear, this case was not about abortion. Malicious abortion politics definitely were the motivation behind it, but the case centered on the inappropriate mandate of the state compelling pro-life clinics to promote abortion in violation of their consciences. The case was about forced speech.”
Alliance Defending Freedom President, CEO, and General Counsel Michael Farris told LifeNews he was delighted by the decision.
No one should be forced by the government to express a message that violates their convictions, especially on deeply divisive subjects such as abortion,” said Farris. “In this case, the government used its power to force pro-life pregnancy centers to provide free advertising for abortion. The Supreme Court said that the government can’t do that, and that it must respect pro-life beliefs.
Tolerance and respect for good-faith differences of opinion are essential in a diverse society like ours,” Farris added. “They enable us to coexist peacefully with one another. If we want to have freedom for ourselves, we have to extend it to others.”
LifeNews also reported that NIFPA president Thomas Glessner also was happy about today’s ruling.
The right of free speech protected in the First Amendment not only includes the right to speak, but also the right to not be compelled by government to speak a message with which one disagrees and which violates one’s conscience,” said Glessner in comments to LifeNews. “The court correctly found that the California law clearly offends this principle. We are very pleased with the court’s decision and for what it means for the many pro-life centers that serve and empower women in California and throughout the country.”