Supreme Court Appeal Media Statement: “California FACT Act” Must Be Corrected

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The National Institutes of Family and Life Advocates has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear its challenge to the California FACT Act.

This law forces pro-life pregnancy resource centers to refer for abortions regardless of First Amendment rights to free speech and religious liberty, or the pro-life principles of center staff and volunteers. NIFLA has filed this appeal in partnership with the Alliance Defending Freedom.

NIFLA president Thomas Glessner, J.D. has released the following statement regarding this case:

“U.S. courts have always respected the freedoms of speech and conscience, whether for medical professionals to not participate in abortions or conscientious objectors to war. The so-called ‘California FACT Act’ attempts to force pro-life pregnancy resource centers (PRCs), which provide free counseling, medical services, and care to women, to become abortion referral agencies. This is a shocking violation of the U.S. Constitution, previous U.S. Supreme Court rulings, and simple common sense.

Across America, thousands of PRCs have provided compassionate care to millions of vulnerable women. Run by pro-life nurses, doctors, and other employees, as well as volunteers, these privately funded organizations provide free ultrasounds, counseling, education, adoptions, maternity housing, and more.

Unlike Planned Parenthood, which receives over $500 million from federal taxpayers, PRCs are almost entirely privately funded. We are the pro-life alternative to Planned Parenthood. Perhaps this is why America’s abortion giant has hypocritically supported the ‘California FACT Act’ even as it has claimed a right to taxpayer funding.

It’s not just pregnant women who are helped from PRCs — taxpayers also benefit. A 2010 study by NIFLA and the nation’s two other largest PRC umbrella groups found that these volunteers and the compassionate, full-time employees of PRCs saved taxpayers $100 million in 2010 alone. The same study found that volunteers — such as nurses, doctors, and other medical professionals — spend 5.8 million hours helping vulnerable women and their unborn children each year.

Federal courts in Maryland, New York, and Texas have ruled in favor of free speech, conscience rights, and the unborn — as did a state judge in Illinois. The Ninth Circuit Court became the lone exception when it ruled against NIFLA’s members’ rights to free speech and freedom of conscience, and we urge the U.S. Supreme Court to correct this error.”

About the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates

NIFLA is a national nonprofit organization providing legal counsel, education and training for pro-life pregnancy centers and medical clinics. Representing a network of more than 1,400 pregnancy centers across the United States, NIFLA has recently challenged laws in California and Illinois that target its members.

To book interviews with Thomas Glessner or Anne O’Connor about the Hawaii legislature referenced above, please contact NIFLA’s media team at [email protected]. If you would like more information about what NIFLA is doing to make a difference in the pro-life movement, please click here.