A major victory for the right of conscience one year ago today

By Dave Andrusko

Talk about time flying! Had not the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) sent out an advisory tonight, I would have completely forgotten that it was a year ago today that the Supreme Court did the right thing in NIFLA v. Becerra.

Preceding the 5-4 decision (it should have been 9-0), we wrote and/or repost dozens and dozens of stories about the state of California’s ugly attack on pro-life pregnancy centers.

As you may recall, NIFLA brought a lawsuit that challenged “The California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act (FACT Act)” requiring licensed pregnancy resource centers to disclose where women could receive free or low-cost abortions, and requiring unlicensed centers to insert state-dictated material in their advertising, thus violating the First Amendment rights of all pregnancy resource centers in the state.

Justices Clarence Thomas, who wrote the opinion, and Anthony Kennedy, who wrote a concurring opinion (and who would announce his retirement the following day), were absolute brilliant in laying out what was at stake.

Kennedy, for example, wrote

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. For here the State requires primarily pro-life pregnancy centers to promote the State’s own preferred message advertising abortions. This compels individuals to contradict their most deeply held beliefs, beliefs grounded in basic philosophical, ethical, or religious precepts, or all of these.

In its one-year anniversary update, NIFLA warned

But the battle to protect life and freedom is far from over.

Although the NIFLA v. Becerra ruling stands against those who would target pro-life centers and end their life-saving work, attacks on pregnancy centers continue.

Led by abortion industry advocates like Planned Parenthood, media campaigns smear and malign the work of these faith-based nonprofits. In addition, unconstitutional laws nationwide still attempt to enforce the agenda of the abortion industry.

Pro-abortionists never rest. They never concede defeat. Defeat only makes them work harder.

Guess what? Pro-lifers would never even consider resting. A momentary defeat is just another reason to work harder and smarter.

The right of conscience narrowly escaped a crushing defeat a year ago today. It was and remains a reminder that five pro-abortion members of the Supreme Court can inflict endless mischief.

We must never allow that to happen again.

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