The Supreme Court will consider another case relating to free speech and religious freedom— this time in the matter of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates and the state of California.
California law, the FACT Act, requires pro-life pregnancy centers to place a notice in their centers advertising the state’s low-cost and free abortions available to qualifying women.
In 2016, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that the FACT Act is constitutional. Critics, however, said the act forces pro-life professionals to advertise state-sponsored abortions.
David French, an attorney who filed an amicus brief in the case, says the NIFLA “should win its case 9-0.”
“Pro-life professionals, as part of their daily lives, are forced not only to be messengers for an ideological point of view (that it is appropriate for the state to provide abortion access) but even to abet a course of action (calling the listed phone number) that can culminate in the death of an unborn child — the very thing that pro-life pregnancy centers exist to prevent,” he said in his amicus brief.
French said in another case Supreme Court ruled in a New Hampshire case that the state couldn’t force people to transform private property into “billboards” for the state’s “ideological message.”
“The Court ruled that the First Amendment ‘protects the right of individuals to hold a point of view different from the majority and to refuse to foster, in the way New Hampshire commands, an idea they find morally objectionable,’” he said.
Previously, the Supreme Court had considered a case of a Colorado cake bakery and the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. In that case, the issue was whether the state could force the Christian bakery to design a cake for a same-sex wedding.
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Publication date: January 17, 2018