On Thursday, Yale Law professor and Planned Parenthood donor Linda Greenhouse had an op-ed published in The New York Times in which she attempted to justify the state of California forcing pro-life pregnancy centers and medical clinics to post notices alerting their clients where to get a taxpayer-funded abortion.
Hobbs points out that the law forcing the pregnancy centers to post the notices was stopped in part by a preliminary injunction granted by a California superior court justice October 30, 2017. He notes that Greenhouse ignores the decision in her piece.
… this case transcends the subject of abortion. The First Amendment question it presents is doctrinally complex but can fairly be boiled down to this: when is it unconstitutional to require an entity that deals with the public to tell its customers the truth?
Hobbs states bluntly, “Apparently missing the point of her own argument, Greenhouse equates a government-mandated signage requirement with mere truth-telling, as if that’s truly what’s at stake. If the truth were really the issue, as Greenhouse argues, California could make use of its false advertising law and its citizens could file criminal and civil complaints against pregnancy centers accused of lying to women.”
While Greenhouse is busy cherry-picking from the original bill’s rationalization—which relied solely upon unfounded allegations from pro-abortion group NARAL Pro-Choice America—she again omits a key piece of information: There’s no evidence to support NARAL’s decades-long charges, as an investigation by the City of Los Angeles discovered last year. On the contrary, it’s precisely because pregnancy centers tell women the truth that well over nine in 10 clients report an overwhelmingly positive experience at one of the nation’s 2,600-plus independent, community-funded centers.
Hobbs refers to NIFLA v. Bercerra, in which The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates is seeking to prohibit enforcement of the Reproductive FACT Act. He writes that if NIFLA loses, it could ”undercut a series of state-level pro-life victories that require abortion businesses to give informed consent prior to executing their procedures.” He adds, "The argument put forward by Greenhouse and others is bogus right out of the gate, however, since the entire concept of ‘informed consent’ assumes there is a relevant medical procedure to follow. At an abortion clinic, that procedure is an abortion. But what relevant medical procedure are we talking about at a pregnancy center?”
Hobbs asks rhetorically, “Should every woman seeing her baby via ultrasound, taking a pregnancy test, or receiving free peer consulting, free material aid, and post-abortive help be greeted at the door with an advertisement for abortions, plus a handy-dandy phone number she can call right away to get one? How much information does a woman need before she gets a free ultrasound?”