2018 | Week of March 19 | #1247
Pregnancy Centers are hope-giving, life-saving, women-helping places. Wisconsin is blessed to have well over 60 of these terrific organizations located all around the state. Unlike Planned Parenthood, with now just 20 facilities and with the bulk of those being in major population centers, pregnancy centers are in both rural and urban areas, each offering help and hope to women—and men—experiencing an unwanted or crisis pregnancy.
Pregnancy centers were started when it became clear years ago that Planned Parenthood had and continues to have no interest in giving women any option than abortion. Girls who are pregnant and distraught remember Planned Parenthood from indoctrination at school. They go to a Planned Parenthood facility where they are advised to abort—and oh, by the way, Planned Parenthood can take care of that for you. The percent of time these places give to talking about adoption is obscenely low.
When a woman has an abortion, Planned Parenthood makes money—lots of it. It’s a dastardly, deadly business plan that tragically has been quite successful, especially when taxpayer money ensures the organization always has operating capital and enough funds to make it sound as if they do things other than destroy unborn babies.
Pregnancy centers were largely started to give women the truth—that there are other alternatives than abortion to an unwanted pregnancy. By their nature, these pregnancy centers don’t counsel in favor of or refer for or advertise for or perform abortions. They are about life—for both the mom and the baby.
By their very existence, pregnancy centers anger Planned Parenthood. For years, Planned Parenthood has been looking for ways to shut them up and shut them down. A few legislative sessions back, a bill was introduced that would have essentially done just that to the pregnancy centers in Wisconsin. Fortunately, the bill died.
However, California is not Wisconsin. Recently, liberal legislators in that sad state passed a law that targets pregnancy centers that are medically licensed in California and forces them to contradict their pro-life mission by advertising for the abortion industry—even in their own buildings. Seriously—these centers are required to post signs advertising that the state offers free or low-cost abortions, and the signs have to include a phone number women can call to get referrals for abortion providers such as, yes, Planned Parenthood. Non-medically licensed pregnancy centers are required to display a disclaimer in their centers and in their advertising that they are not a medical facility—in up to 13 different languages, a requirement that pretty much makes it impossible for them to advertise their services. Disobey the law, and you pay up to $1000 per offense.
I know. It’s sick and it’s pathetic how low this life-taking, money-sucking industry will go. Fortunately, the law is also a violation of free speech; and our freedom-loving, freedom-defending friends at Alliance Defending Freedom have once again stepped up on behalf of free speech and on behalf of these pregnancy centers with a lawsuit that has nationwide implications.
On Tuesday of this week, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys will stand before the US Supreme Court asking the high court to protect freedom of speech—and not just for pregnancy centers but for anyone who would be forced by the government to speak a message that contradicts their sincerely held beliefs.
Government-coerced speech is becoming much too common. In December of last year, Alliance Defending Freedom represented a cake baker from Colorado before the Supreme Court, defending his right to not have to speak through his cake designing talents a message he disagrees with, one that actually violates his religious beliefs about marriage. The Court will be deciding both of these high-profile cases before the term ends June 30.
Whether it’s a pregnancy center or a baker or florist or anyone else, government should not be able to force us to deliver a message that violates our beliefs. That’s what the First Amendment is all about; protecting our right to both speak and not to speak. In the case involving these pregnancy centers, the stakes are unusually high. Forcing these centers to advertise abortion puts at great risk the lives of unborn babies and the well-being of their mothers. I urge you to join us in praying for God’s intervention and favor.
For Wisconsin Family Council, this is Julaine Appling reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”