In 2015, California passed a law that forces pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for the abortion industry.
The author of the act called the existence of these pro-life pregnancy centers “unfortunate” because they “aim to discourage and prevent women from seeking abortions.” So, the act applies exclusively to pro-life pregnancy centers and exempts all others, including pro-abortion centers.
But this displays a lack of understanding about these centers and the true benefits they provide.
Pregnancy center directors Heidi with Alternatives Pregnancy Center, Blayne with Options for Women, and Josh with Pregnancy Care Clinic are speaking out not only against this law but also against the myths pro-abortion activists would have you believe about their centers:
Fact: Each woman that walks into a pregnancy center has three options: parenting, adoption, and abortion. Despite what the abortion industry might have you believe, these centers don’t ignore that these women could choose to abort their baby. It is legal in America. They simply discuss each of those options the women are interested in, going over the facts as well as the benefits and harms.
Fact: Many of these pregnancy centers are equipped to continue helping the parents even beyond giving birth. In fact, they often do just that free of charge. And if the woman chooses to have an abortion, each of these pregnancy centers offer post-abortion healing programs.
Fact: When Blayne became pregnant in college, she went to the campus clinic. There she was given information on where she could get an abortion but no additional options. She decided to have an abortion, later dealing with the psychological and spiritual harms that came along with it. Heidi’s sister faced an unplanned pregnancy when they were in college, and decided to keep the baby. On top of that, both Blayne and Heidi are now mothers. They have experienced, personally or with someone close to them, what it is like to face the words “you are pregnant,” including all the emotions and thoughts that come along with it.
Fact: Women are constantly bombarded with the message that they can’t do it. They cannot reach their dreams or have the life they want with a baby. But that is a lie. These pregnancy center directors want women to know that they are strong and capable. They can do it, and their pregnancy center is there to help them do just that.
Fact: While these pregnancy centers do not want to be forced to refer for abortions – it contradicts their mission and their reason for existing – they still recognize that women can get an abortion in America if they so choose. They talk to women about abortion and any woman is free to leave the pregnancy center and make an appointment for an abortion. These pregnancy centers simply do not want to facilitate that. And even if that woman does choose to have an abortion, she is welcome back at the pregnancy center, where she can take part in a post-abortion healing program.
Fact: As Blayne says, pregnancy centers seek to be transformational, not transactional. While the abortion industry benefits financially from more abortions – giving them motive to push only that option to women – pro-life pregnancy centers provide their services to women free of charge and don’t gain anything financially by doing so. They are purely motivated by their mission to offer support and life to women and their babies.
Fact: Our First Amendment does not allow for this. Just as government cannot silence our speech, it also cannot force us to speak a message with which we disagree. If the government can force these pregnancy centers to advertise for the abortion industry, what messages could they force any of us to speak?
- Myth 1: Pregnancy centers don’t present women with all of their choices.
- Myth 2: Pregnancy centers don’t care about the mother or her baby once she gives birth.
- Myth 3: Pregnancy center employees couldn’t possibly know what these mothers are going through.
- Myth 4: Pregnancy centers want to force women to give birth even when they can’t handle it.
- Myth 5: If pregnancy centers don’t tell women where to get an abortion, they won’t know where to turn.
- Myth 6: Pregnancy centers are only in it for themselves.
- Myth 7: Government can force pregnancy centers to speak a message with which they disagree.
ADF will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court on March 20 on behalf of our ally the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, an association of pregnancy centers, including many in California. We are asking the Court to protect the free speech rights of these pregnancy centers so they can continue serving their communities without being forced to promote a practice they are actively working to end.
Find out more about this case and how it could impact your First Amendment rights.