NIFLA: Preserving Free Speech for Those Who Advocate for Women and the Unborn
May 15, 2018 12:00 ET

Can the state force pregnancy resource centers to act in contradiction of their beliefs?

In March of this year, the Supreme Court heard a case challenging the California law that requires pregnancy resource centers to provide free advertising for abortion industry in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra. Congress has taken a keen interest in this case, especially since it can determine whether the state can force individuals or private entities to act in contradiction of their beliefs. One of the foremost advocates standing with these pregnancy centers is Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (R-Md.). Rep. Harris and Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Calif.) filed an Amicus Curiae brief on behalf of 128 members of the House of Representatives and 16 Senators in support of the pro-life pregnancy centers represented in the Supreme Court case.

In 2013, The New York Times reported that nationally, pro-life pregnancy resource centers outnumbered abortion facilities (2,500 to 1,800). Two short years later in 2015, the number of pregnancy resource centers rose to 4,000 compared to just 739 abortion facilities. In addition, in 2017 the U.S. witnessed its lowest abortion rate since 1975.

It is clear that pregnancy resource centers are making a positive impact, but that hasn't stopped radical pro-abortion activists from trying to violate the First Amendment rights of these vital centers that are helping women make life-affirming choices. Come join Rep. Harris as he talks about the ongoing fight to protect the sanctity of life and the First Amendment rights of those who are standing for the pro-life cause.

Rep. Andy Harris, M.D. (R-Md.) Congressman Andy Harris has spent his life serving his neighbors, country, and community. Dr. Harris found his calling studying medicine at Johns Hopkins University and Hospital in Baltimore, where he continued to practice as an anesthesiologist and served as an associate professor for nearly three decades. The Congressman specializes in obstetric anesthesiology and still practices at Memorial Hospital in Easton, Maryland. In the 1980s, Dr. Harris volunteered to serve in the Naval Reserve as a medical specialist, and his unit was called up to active duty in order to assist with Operation Desert Shield (and later Operation Desert Storm). Congressman Harris reached the rank of Commander.

Dr. Harris was first elected to the Maryland State Senate in 1998, where he served for 12 years. Maryland's First Congressional District first elected Congressman Harris to serve in the House of Representatives in 2010. He currently serves on the Committee on Appropriations and on the following subcommittees: Agriculture; Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education; and Homeland Security.

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