Arguments in NIFLA v. Becerra will be heard at the U.S. Supreme Court on March 20. At issue is a California law requiring pro-life pregnancy centers to display information on how to obtain subsidized abortions.
Update to a December post: In “Ventriloquists at Work”, I described cases in Connecticut and California in which government agencies are trying to tell pro-life pregnancy care centers what kind of signage they must post. The U.S. Supreme Court will take a look at the California case later this year.
Just yesterday, January 5, the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals refused to uphold a similar law targeting a pro-life clinic in Baltimore, Maryland. That’s good news for all of us First Amendment fans.
From a press release from the Becket Fund, whose attorneys are representing the clinic in Baltimore:
…In 2009, the City of Baltimore targeted the Center, which operates out of Catholic Church-owned property, demanding they display a sign stating that they “do not provide or make referrals for abortion or birth control services,” even though they already inform women in welcome papers and a lobby sign about the caring services they do provide for free and also that they do not offer abortions. Yet the City of Baltimore did not require abortion clinics to display the services they do not offer, such as adoption or prenatal care. The Fourth Circuit’s decision today criticized Baltimore for adopting “retributive speech restrictions” on pro-life speakers, calling the restrictions a “grave violation” of “our nation’s dearest principles.”
Note the date of the city ordinance: eight years ago. Eight years of litigation would force most nonprofit pregnancy care centers out of business. Maybe that’s one of the factors motivating ordinance supporters. Thumbs up to the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty and other public-interest law firms who take on such cases.
This is a ventriloquist’s dummy. You can make it say anything you want.
This is a pregnancy help center. The Hartford, Connecticut City Council is trying to treat it like a dummy.
A newly-passed Hartford ordinance would require the Hartford Women’s Center, operated by St. Gerard’s Center for Life, to post certain language to address the fears of abortion advocates who think deception is at the core of what the HWC does.
The Hartford Councilors are not the only ventriloquist wannabes out there, just the latest.
The Hartford ordinance passed 7-2 on December 11, a few weeks after a packed-house public hearing. The seven city councilors who voted “yes” had an eye on California case, though. Peter Wolfgang of the Family Institute of Connecticut notes,
…in a last-minute change, the Hartford City Council altered the ordinance so that it goes into effect next July, instead of the original language which had it going into effect 30 days from its passage.
Why next July? Because the Supreme Court’s term – presumably including a decision on the California law – wraps up at the end of June.
The New Hampshire House has given thumbs-down to repealing the state’s unenforced buffer zone law, rejecting HB 589 with a 191-165 “inexpedient to legislate” (ITL) vote.
This is the third unsuccessful attempt to repeal 2014’s buffer zone law, which gives abortion providers the ability to prohibit exercise of First Amendment rights on public property near their facilities. Last year’s repeal attempt was passed by the House before dying in the Senate.
New Hampshire’s law is similar to the Massachusetts law struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court in McCullen v. Coakley.
Before the vote on HB 589, Reps. Jeanine Notter, Kurt Wuelper, and Dan Hynes spoke in favor of the repeal bill. I’m proud that two of them represent my town.
Here is the link to the roll call on HB 589. Keep in mind that the motion was ITL, so a “yea” vote favored killing the repeal effort. The “nays” came from reps who presumably don’t want to deny First Amendment rights to peaceful pro-life witnesses.
Among the 165 representatives who opposed killing the repeal bill were four non-Republicans. I tip my cap to Democrats Amanda Bouldin, Raymond Gagnon, and Jean Jeudy for being willing to take a position at variance with that of their party’s leaders. Libertarian Caleb Dyer cast a pro-First-Amendment vote, too.
Most of the 191 votes to kill the repeal effort came from Democrats, but 34 Republicans lined up behind them.
The national “Women’s March” in Washington coming up Saturday the 21st has no place for pro-life women, thus revealing itself to be an abortion advocacy event. Pro-lifers are going to show up anyway. A similar “march” will be happening in Concord on State House Plaza on the same day, and intrepid New Hampshire pro-lifers will be there, too. You’re invited to join members of New Hampshire Right to Life as they rally for life.
Read the event’s Facebook page for more information, or contact Beth at email@example.com (but note that this is not a 40DFL-related event).
I’m not giving away any secrets when I say that the pro-abortion rally in Concord will be big. (The Facebook signups for that event make that clear.) The pro-lifers nearby, in an act of faith, hope and love, simply want to give witness to the right to life. Organizers have a permit in hand from the city, limited to the sidewalk along Main Street outside State House plaza.
Here’s a screenshot of the event’s flyer.
I’m sorry that I won’t be there myself – but I’ll look forward to sharing with readers the photos and reports from the pro-lifers who brave the sidewalk that day.
Note that I’m open to a guest post from anyone participating in an authentically pro-life response to one of the “Women’s Marches.”
Keep in mind the OK-to-choose-death-for-others mission of the “Women’s Marches,” as expressed by organizers of the main march in Washington when they rescinded an invitation to New Wave Feminists.