ADF to take stand for free speech at US Supreme Court Tuesday
WHO: ADF President, CEO, and General Counsel Michael Farris, NIFLA President Thomas Glessner, and NIFLA Vice President of Legal Affairs Anne O’Connor
WHAT: News conference after oral arguments in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra
WHEN: Tuesday, March 20, immediately following oral arguments (approximately 11:15 a.m. EDT)
WHERE: Outside U.S. Supreme Court, 1 First St. NE, Washington
WASHINGTON – Alliance Defending Freedom President, CEO, and General Counsel Michael Farris will participate in a news conference immediately following his oral argument before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra. Farris will argue on behalf of NIFLA in the case and will be joined at the news conference by NIFLA President Thomas Glessner and NIFLA Vice President of Legal Affairs Anne O’Connor.
On behalf of the pro-life pregnancy center network and two of its centers, ADF attorneys filed their reply brief with the high court on March 14 to answer the state of California’s argument that it can force pro-life centers to advertise for the abortion industry through a 2015 state law, AB 775, the so-called “Reproductive FACT Act.”
“No one should be forced to provide free advertising for the abortion industry—least of all pro-life pregnancy centers,” said Farris. “Yet here, the government designed this statute to single out pro-life pregnancy centers and force them to use their walls as billboards to point the way to abortion. Information about abortion is widely available, and the government has many other ways it can do what it wants to without trampling on the First Amendment protected freedoms of pro-life advocates.” (#GiveFreeSpeechLife)
AB 775 requires licensed medical centers that offer free, pro-life help to pregnant women to post a disclosure saying that California provides free or low-cost abortion and contraception services. The disclosure must also include a phone number for a county office that refers women to Planned Parenthood and others in the abortion industry. The law also forces unlicensed pregnancy centers to add large disclosures in multiple languages about their non-medical status in advertisements, which obscure and crowd out their pro-life speech. Failure to comply carries civil fines up to $1,000 per violation. Other courts have invalidated or mostly invalidated similar laws in Austin, Texas; Montgomery County, Maryland; Baltimore; and New York City.
Twenty-two states, 144 members of Congress, and many others have filed friend-of-the-court briefs urging the Supreme Court to reverse the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and a lower court’s ruling that allows California to enforce AB 775.
O’Connor, ADF-allied attorney John Eastman of the Center for Constitutional Jurisprudence at Chapman University’s Fowler School of Law, and Dean R. Broyles of The National Center for Law and Policy are co-counsel in the lawsuit on behalf of NIFLA and the two pregnancy centers.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.
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