WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the U.S. Supreme Court issued its 5-4 decision in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, ruling in favor of pro-life pregnancy care centers and their First Amendment right to free speech.
Family Research Council President Tony Perkins offered the following reaction to the decision:
“The First Amendment is clear in its wording and guarantees all Americans are legally protected from compelled speech by their government. The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled the state of California was clearly in the wrong in this case and all Americans, whether pro-life or not, should be relieved with the Supreme Court’s decision.
“What if the government made a vegan grocer to post ads for the local butcher shop? Everyone would agree that that’s not fair. This case is no different and thankfully, the Court recognized that fact.
“California lawmakers, through this law that has now been struck down, attempted to override the First Amendment, forcing private entities to speak messages against their beliefs, and punishing them if don’t comply. That this could happen in America, should be of grave concern to all Americans, regardless of their views on abortion.
“Pro-life pregnancy centers provide, at no charge, the practical resources, information and emotional help women need to choose life for their baby, and to care for their child long after they are born. Pregnancy resource centers should not be compelled to speak a message that goes against the very nature of their existence. We are thankful they can continue their good work without fear of punishment.
“If the government has the right to compel speech from these centers, what will stop the government from forcing your church or non-profit to promote a message that runs counter to your mission? Americans can now breathe a sigh of relief that this question will not have to be answered in practice,” Perkins concluded.