Four years after California passed a law forcing pro-life medical clinics to promote abortion, the Golden State is now being forced to make restitution.
The Reproductive FACT Act, which was enacted in 2015, mandated that clinics post signs directing clients to a taxpayer-funded abortion program.
The sign would read as follows:
“California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [insert the telephone number] .”
Failure to comply resulted in a $500 fine for the first violation and $1,000 for each additional violation.
Outraged, the pregnancy centers took their grievances to the US Supreme Court, arguing the law is a clear violation of their First Amendment rights to free speech and exercise of religion.
The high court agreed, ruling 5-4 last June that California “cannot co-opt the licensed facilities to deliver its message for it.”
“The FACT Act unduly burdens protected speech. It imposes a government-scripted, speaker-based disclosure requirement that is wholly disconnected from the State’s informational interest. It requires covered facilities to post California’s precise notice no matter what the facilities say on site or in their advertisements. And it covers a curiously narrow subset of speakers,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in the opinion for the majority.
Now a federal judge is ordering California to pay three pregnancy help centers and a conservative law firm $399,000.
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