For a long time, pro-abortion activists have tried to convince the American public that abortion isn’t harmful. They attempt to gloss over the fact that abortion not only takes the life of a baby (a fact that these activists are finding harder to ignore) but also threatens the mother with injury and death.
Yes, the physical harms to women are very real and horribly tragic. In fact, Planned Parenthood paid a $2 million settlement to the family of a woman who died from a botched abortion in 2012. And who could forget Kermit Gosnell’s “House of Horrors”? On top of that, a report from the Charlotte Lozier Institute shows abortion can lead to premature births in pregnancies after that abortion.
But there’s also psychological harms that come along with abortion.
Numerous studies have shown that there is a higher risk for mental disorders within the group of women who have had abortions versus those who have not. These studies also show a higher risk for anxiety disorders, depression, thoughts of suicide, and substance abuse in women who have had abortions.
To help the men and women coping with a past abortion, Pregnancy Care Clinic in El Cajon, California offers a free Post-Abortion Healing Bible Study.
Unfortunately, the men and women attending this Bible study could be confronted with an advertisement for abortion, even as they seek to heal from it.
You see, the State of California passed a law that forces medically licensed centers to post signs that advertise for the abortion industry. These signs must say that California offers free or low-cost abortions. They also must provide a phone number where they can call to get more information. This law also forces pregnancy centers that are not medically licensed to post a disclaimer in multiple languages in their centers and in their advertising that they do not offer medical services – leaving little room for them to speak their own pro-life message.
Pro-life pregnancy centers in California exist to provide an alternative to abortion. These clinics offer free resources to mothers to provide them with the help and hope they need to give life to their babies. They provide material needs such as diapers, wipes, clothing, and formula. Those that are medically licensed provide free services such as ultrasounds and STD testing.
Some, like Pregnancy Care Clinic, offer counseling and healing to those who have had an abortion in the past. They feel called to help these hurting people walk through the psychological harms they experienced.
How can these centers post signs advertising for abortion as they help women and men deal with its destructive aftermath?
They can’t. And they shouldn’t have to.
In March, Alliance Defending Freedom will argue before the U.S. Supreme Court on behalf of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), asking that these pro-life pregnancy centers not be forced to speak a message that contradicts their beliefs and their mission.
Preserving the freedom of speech for these pregnancy centers preserves it for all of us.