Christian pregnancy centers freak out after California turns tables and forces them to disclose abortion rights
For years, conservatives have been placing roadblocks to make it harder for women to get an abortion, but the state of California has turned the tables, forcing Christian pregnancy crisis centers to notify women of their reproductive rights.
NPR reported this week that a number of so-called pregnancy crisis centers were suing the state over regulations in the Reproductive FACT Act, which would force them to post a notice that abortion is legal in the state.
According to the law, a sign in large 22-point type must be posted in the lobby reading:
California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [insert the telephone number].
Additionally, the sign at unlicensed clinics would state that the “facility is not licensed as a medical facility by the State of California and has no licensed medical provider who provides or directly supervises the provision of services.”
Josh McClure, executive director of East County Pregnancy Care Clinic in El Cajon, told NPR that the law goes against everything his clinic stands for.
East County Pregnancy Care does not currently notify clients that they have a right to an abortion, and it does not refer women to abortion providers even if asked.
But McClure said that the clinic would discuss the dangers of abortions.
“Generally, the further along you go, the more expensive and more invasive and more risks there are,” he explains. “Risk of sterility is one. Perforated uterus is another. And then, of course, emotional side effects as well. All the information we’re giving about the side effects is backed by research and referenced.”
NPR noted that the clinic omitted the fact that much of the anti-abortion information had been disputed by experts.
Pacific Justice Institute Brad Dacus, which has joined the lawsuit, said that he was willing to take the case all the way to the Supreme Court.
“It’s like telling the Alcoholics Anonymous group that they have to have a large sign saying where people can get alcohol and booze for free,” Dacus opined. “It’s like telling a Jewish synagogue that they can have their service, and do their thing, but they have to have a large sign where people can go to pray to receive Jesus.”
“If people are not allowed to carry out their faith, and act and actually exercise their faith — not just have their private beliefs, but actually exercise their faith — then we really don’t have religious freedom,” he added.
California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ office has promised to “vigorously defend the state law in court.”
Listen to the audio below from NPR, broadcast Nov. 4, 2015.