The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a very crucial case concerning the First Amendment and a pregnancy center’s right to operate within their values and convictions. This is a big day for the pro-life movement and one of its largest umbrella organizations, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) as we have an opportunity to make our case to the highest court.
This case has received some national coverage, but if you blinked you might have missed it in today’s headline saturated culture. Some of you may not even be aware of the issue facing pregnancy centers, just like HOPE, in California.
Allow me to provide some context. In 2016 Governor Jerry Brown signed the Reproductive Fact Act into law. This piece of legislation was a direct attack on faith based medical clinic/pregnancy centers. We know this to be true by the narrative surrounding it. The abortion lobby, using the power of the Legislature, strategically and purposefully targeted all pregnancy centers in CA as this law forced these clinics to go against their religious convictions to not simply discuss abortion, but to refer, post, and all but drive a patient to an abortion clinic.
They made these moves while pushing a narrative that is misleading at best and slandering at worst as they painted pregnancy centers as organizations that peddle lies and manipulate women. This narrative, no matter how bombastic and ridiculous it sounds, was touted by the Huffington Post, Mother Jones, and Slate.
It is pretty clear that the goal of the Reproductive Fact Act and the abortion lobby is not founded in truth or the betterment of women’s health. The goal, instead, is to defame thousands of non-profit organizations that spend their days loving and serving men, women, and babies in our cities. Furthermore, it is to silence those that feel convicted by faith to stand for life in the womb.
I, at times, feel like a broken record as I point out the difference of a pregnancy center and an abortion clinic. You see, no life is extinguished at a pregnancy center while one million lives were extinguished at abortion clinics just last year in this country. One can be unhappy about our pro-life message, but we are a service oriented organization seeking to be there for our city in need. Promoting life for all should be a celebrated act, but this act, in the eyes of the abortion lobby, directly harms the budget line of abortion clinics.
I am thankful for NIFLA and other pro-life advocates that fight for pregnancy centers. We have been maligned and targeted by the abortion lobby since the first clinic opened years ago. These direct attacks are disappointing, but they have not altered our steadfast love for our patients and their families. Our clinic and lobbying budgets do not compare to that of the abortion giants and lobbying arms in this country, but our desire to see life, at every stage, valued overcomes that gap.
This is why the news from the Supreme Court this week is so important. This proves that advocacy, even when money is tight, can make a huge difference. This case is an opportunity for pregnancy centers, the frontlines of the pro-life movement, to tell the world about our work. We have a chance to counter the untruths that the abortion lobby continue to spew in our direction. This is our opportunity to further show why we do the work we do.
Laws, courts, and lobbyists will come and go, but the work in the trenches will continue on. There are thousands of men and women around this country in need today, and we refuse to apologize for our desire to serve and love them well. I am encouraged to see the current trajectory for life in our society. There is still much work to do, but you should know that many are committed and willing to put in that work.
posted by Andrew Wood, Executive Director of Hope Resource Center