Religious liberty is increasingly becoming a thing of the past. Pro-life pregnancy centers in California are now mandated to “disseminate” messages promoting abortion information to their patients or face steep fines.
Per CNS News, the law which was signed by Governor Jerry Brown and became effective as of January 1, mandates “that all licensed pregnancy centers ‘disseminate to clients’ a message promoting public programs with ‘free or low-cost access’ to abortion and contraceptive services.” Fines start at $500 for the first offense and jump to $1,000 for every subsequent “infraction.”
All legal attempts thus far to fight the mandate on the grounds of its violation of the First Amendment have failed:
Arguing that the law violates their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech and free exercise of religion, the clinics sought preliminary and permanent injunctions against the law. The requests for preliminary injunctions were denied in the past couple of weeks.
The Pacific Justice Institute’s request for injunction was denied on December 21 by U.S. District Judge Kimberly Mueller in Sacramento.
“Though the public interest favors upholding the First Amendment, the public interest also favors ensuring California women are fully informed as to their reproductive healthcare options,” claimed Judge Mueller.
The Pacific Justice Institute asserts, “Judge Mueller determined that the interests of the clinics in refusing to promote abortion were outweighed by the interests of the State to ensure women receive information about all their options.”
"The notion that the government can compel religious non-profits to promote practices antithetical to their values is chilling."
-Pacific Justice Institute President Bob Dacus
"This ruling should alarm everyone who believes in a robust First Amendment," warned the president of Pacific Justice Institute, Brad Dacus. "The notion that the government can compel religious non-profits to promote practices antithetical to their values is chilling."
As the Little Sisters of the Poor engage in a lawsuit against federal government mandates to provide contraception including abortion-inducing drugs via Obamacare and bakery owners close their doors and pony up fines exceeding $136K for refusing to breach their religious beliefs and participate in a gay wedding, abortion-loving California joins in and denies the religious freedoms of the pro-life pregnancy centers.