When you think of California politics, you don’t exactly think of a strong culture of life.
In fact, California is a hotbed of extreme liberal views on abortion.
But a recent pro-life victory proves that God can work anywhere.
California first passed the Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency (FACT) act in 2015 which mandated that all pregnancy help centers put signs up referring pregnant mothers seeking help to abortion clinics.
This goes against everything that the over 200 pro-life pregnancy centers in California stand for and believe in.
Furthermore, if a business did not comply with this law, they would be charged $500 for a first offense and $1,000 for any subsequent offense.
This had many in an uproar and a group of pro-life organizations led by the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, with the help of the Alliance Defending Freedom, challenged the law in October 2016.
Alliance Defending Freedom CEO and General Counsel, Michael Farris, stated “The government has no business forcing anyone to express a message that violates their convictions, especially on deeply divisive subjects such as abortion. California disregarded that truth when it passed its law forcing pro-life centers to advertise for the abortion industry.”
In June of last year, their prayers were finally answered! Our Heavenly Father showed them that all of their hard work was not in vain.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled against the act in a 5-4 decision stating that it “unduly burdens protected speech.”
The ruling stated that “California has offered no justification that the notice plausibly furthers. It targets speakers, not speech, and imposes an unduly burdensome disclosure requirement that will chill their protected speech.”
“Pro-life pregnancy centers will no longer be compelled to speak a message that goes against their mission to save the lives of babies and women.”
This happened to be one of the last cases of Justice Anthony Kennedy. He wrote a concurring opinion to the ruling in the case stating that government must “not be allowed to force persons to express a message contrary to their deepest convictions.”
Kennedy also wrote that “this law is a paradigmatic example of the serious threat presented when government seeks to impose its own message in the place of individual speech, thought, and expression,” and that, “freedom of speech secures freedom of thought and belief,” and, “this law imperils those liberties.”
This was a huge win, but God wasn’t done yet!
In February, the state of California was ordered to pay $399,000 in restitution to the Pregnancy and Family Resource Center of San Bernardino, His Nesting Place of Long Beach, Birth Choice of the Desert in La Quinta, and the Liberty Counsel!
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of the Liberty Counsel, stated that “the law violated freedom of speech. The First Amendment protects the right to speak and the right not to speak. Faith-based pro-life pregnancy centers cannot be forced to promote human genocide.”
He is also glad that pro-life centers can now continue to spread their message of Love and life without having to counteract it with a message they don’t believe in.
This is something that we are all happy about. This is an instance when pro-life values have been upheld. This is also an instance when we can see that if we stand up and speak up for our beliefs, we have a better chance of being able to keep them alive.
We thank you to all who have been praying for a solution to this invasive law and we urge you to continue praying for the freedom to continue to practice our beliefs and to be able to speak up for what we believe is right.