National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra

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Friday, March 23, 2018

Description:  California’s Reproductive FACT Act, AB 775, forces pro-life pregnancy care centers to provide free advertising for the abortion industry. The law 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 other abortionists. The law also forces unlicensed pregnancy centers to add large disclosures about their non-medical status in all advertisements, even if they provide no medical services. Other courts have invalidated or mostly invalidated similar laws in Austin, Texas; Montgomery County, Maryland; Baltimore; and New York City.

Michael Farris’s remarks following Supreme Court oral arguments in NIFLA v. Becerra

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Alliance Defending Freedom President, CEO, and General Counsel Michael Farris made the following comments Tuesday following his oral argument at the U.S. Supreme Court in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra:

“Good morning, my name is Mike Farris, I am president, CEO and general counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom.

“A government that tells you what you can’t say is dangerous, but a government that tells you what you must say—under threat of severe punishment—is alarming.

“Today, before the United States Supreme Court justices, I argued on behalf of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates that the California law forcing pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for abortions is unlawful government-compelled expression.

“The state of California, at the behest of the abortion industry, is using its power to force pro-life pregnancy centers to be complicit in abortion by telling women how to get one free or at a reduced cost. Even worse, AB775 specifically targets these small non-profit organizations that exist to provide women with life-affirming information they may not otherwise receive.

“Other federal courts have already recognized that this type of government compelled speech violates the foundation of the freedom we have in America, making the 9th Circuit’s denial of free speech the exception rather than the rule. In fact, courts have invalidated or mostly invalidated similar laws in Texas, Maryland, and New York City.

“When the government decides what people should and should not say, other freedoms are sure to disappear soon after. The government exists to serve its people, and not the other way around.

“Even if you are not pro-life, do you want the government setting up its own advertising mandates for nonprofit organizations and then punishing any who disagree? The First Amendment does not allow the government to force you to speak its message. That’s especially true when you are pursuing a religious mission of simply providing resources and support to women free of charge.

“California has the heavy burden of justifying its law under the Constitution or else the law must be struck down to give freedom back to the people. After arguments this morning, I am optimistic the justices will find that the state has not carried this burden and will continue their long tradition of giving speech the highest level of protection it deserves.”
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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Additional resources: National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra

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Friday, March 23, 2018

Previous news releases:

  • 2018-03-19: ADF to take stand for free speech at US Supreme Court Tuesday
  • 2018-03-14: House honors selfless work of pregnancy centers for women, their babies
  • 2018-03-14: ADF responds to California: Govt shouldn’t force pro-life centers to advertise for abortion
  • 2018-03-12: California, coerced speech, and the Court: A panel discussion on NIFLA v. Becerra
  • 2018-02-21: California AG defends forcing pro-life centers to advertise for abortion
  • 2018-01-17: Broad support against forcing pro-life centers to advertise for abortion
  • 2018-01-08: Pro-life centers to Supreme Court: Don’t allow govt to force us to advertise for abortion
  • 2017-11-13: US Supreme Court agrees to weigh in on California law that forces pro-life centers to promote abortion
  • 2017-03-20: ADF asks US Supreme Court to halt California law forcing pro-life centers to promote abortion
  • 2016-10-28: ADF asks 9th Circuit to preserve freedom for pro-life pregnancy centers
  • 2016-10-14: 9th Circuit upholds California law forcing pro-life centers to promote abortion
  • 2016-06-13: ADF to 9th Circuit: Halt California law forcing pro-life centers to promote abortion
  • 2015-10-13: Calif. law forces pro-life centers to promote abortion, ADF files suit


  • Jim Campbell: Justice Kennedy’s views on pro-life speech tested this term (National Review, 2018-03-23)
  • Kristen Waggoner: Thwarting pro-life pregnancy centers (Washington Times, 2018-03-20)
  • James Gottry: Supreme Court must act to protect free speech on subject of abortion (The Hill, 2018-03-20)
  • Michael Farris: Pro-life pregnancy centers shouldn't be forced to promote abortion (Kentucky Today, 2018-03-20)
  • Maggie Amos: Pregnancy centers shouldn’t have to advertise for abortions. I’m glad mine didn’t. (USA Today, 2018-03-20)
  • Thomas Glessner: Pro-life pregnancy centers should not have to advertise abortion (National Review, 2018-03-20)
  • Michael Farris: Supreme Court should not allow California to force pro-life pregnancy centers to promote abortion (Fox News, 2018-03-20)
  • James Gottry: Pro-life centers have speech, too (Wall Street Journal, 2018-03-19)
  • Elissa Graves: Supreme Court should uphold free speech of pro-life pregnancy centers (Sacramento Bee, 2018-03-13)
  • Sarah Kramer: Should this pregnancy clinic be forced to advertise abortion? (Christian Post, 2018-02-22)
  • Anne O’Connor: The greedy abortion industry vilifies pro-life centers (The Hill, 2018-02-15)
  • Kevin Theriot: Upcoming Supreme Court case reveals California’s slapshot at pro-life speech rights (Washington Examiner, 2018-01-26)
  • James Gottry: What if March for Life participants were forced to advertise for Planned Parenthood? (The Hill, 2018-01-18)
  • James Gottry: Supreme Court to decide if FACT Act hacks away at First Amendment (National Review, 2017-11-16)
  • Kevin Theriot: Supreme Court should strike down California’s forced-advertising law (National Review, 2017-04-03)

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