This past month, my daughter graduated from high school. Her graduation caused me to ponder about the privileges we Americans enjoy. It is indeed a great privilege to be a young woman in America, and even more so this year as NIFLA celebrated the first anniversary of its Supreme Court victory, NIFLA v. Becerra. This victory earned my daughter and her generation—as well as all Americans—freedom not to be compelled to speak a message with which they fundamentally disagree.
We gave free speech life this year.
What a whirlwind the last year was. My daughter stood by my side through it all, watching as NIFLA challenged the state of California and defended the free speech rights of our pregnancy centers. I am the Vice President of Legal Affairs at the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, or NIFLA: a legal organization that represents more than 1,500 pro-life pregnancy centers.
Three years ago, NIFLA entered into a legal battle with the State of California when the state tried to force pregnancy centers to advertise for abortions. My daughter got to experience the legal system up close and personal while she accompanied me during those three years.
My friend and National Institute of Family and Life Advocates President and Founder Thomas Glessner made the following statements regarding the one-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in NIFLA v. Becerra, which President Trump commemorated as part of a speech last Wednesday in Washington, D.C.:
“One year ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the free speech rights of pro-life pregnancy centers and all Americans. In addition to protecting the work of life-affirming pregnancy centers across the nation, NIFLA v. Becerra clarified protection for the free speech rights of medical professionals, Christian counselors and churches.
However, we have seen that abortion industry advocates and their allies will stop at nothing to advance their agenda. Pregnancy centers working to provide free resources to women and children are still the target of legislative and media attacks nationwide. While NIFLA remains grateful for our victory in the Supreme Court one year ago, we know there is still much work to be done.”
The following quote was released by Alliance Defending Freedom President, CEO, and General Counsel Michael Farris on the same day:
“The government has no business forcing anyone to express a message that violates their convictions. California disregarded that truth when it passed a law forcing pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for the abortion industry, but one year ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court rightly stopped that law and found that ‘the people lose when the government is the one deciding which ideas should prevail.’
The court’s decision has already been helpful to pro-life and speech cases in other states. The larger outcome of this case, however, affirmed the freedom that all Americans have to speak— or not to speak—in accordance with their conscience.”
It was truly an honor to see President Trump speak at the Faith and Freedom Coalition Conference and mention NIFLA’s anniversary. Below is a brief video clip where President Trump mentions this ground-breaking case and what it meant to pregnancy centers and all Americans.
How many teenagers get to see the President praise an organization that they were intimately involved with for years?
Vice President Mike Pence also tweeted his praise for the first anniversary of NIFLA v. Becerra, which was met with gratitude by all of us here at NIFLA.
The excitement of a Supreme Court Victory and the great joy of being acknowledged by our President and Vice President is truly a once in a lifetime experience, and I am thrilled my daughter has been a part of this journey with me.
This original blog post was written by Anne O’Connor, Vice President of Legal Affairs for NIFLA. The NIFLA v. Becerra ruling in favor of pro-life pregnancy centers and free speech was released on June 26, 2018. NIFLA Vice President of Legal Affairs Anne O’Connor acted as co-counsel on NIFLA v. Becerra before the Supreme Court.