When it comes to abortion, the modern left likes to claim the mantle “pro-choice.” But nothing could be farther from the truth.
The left is no longer pro-choice. It is only pro-abortion.
Look no further than the state of Vermont.
The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) and two pregnancy resource centers have filed a federal lawsuit against Vermont with the help of lawyers from Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF).
The organizations are challenging Vermont state officials “for unconstitutionally restricting the centers’ speech and provision of services.”
The controversy stems from the state’s newly enacted law (SB 37), which the governor signed into law in May 2023.
According to ADF, the law is unconstitutional for two reasons.
- It censors the pregnancy resource centers’ ability to advertise their free services.
- It precludes the centers from offering non-medical services, information and counseling unless provided by a licensed health care provider.
If NIFLA sounds somewhat familiar, it’s because the organization has already won a landmark pro-life free speech case against the state of California in 2018. In NIFLA v. Becerra, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California law that compelled pro-life pregnancy resource centers to speak a pro-abortion message to their clients, contrary to their beliefs.
In this case, rather than compelling speech, Vermont is censoring free speech. Both are blatantly unconstitutional, violating the First Amendment.
NIFLA filed the lawsuit in the United States District Court for the District of Vermont and asked the court to prohibit state officials from enforcing SB 37 against the pregnancy resource centers.
“[SB 37] violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution by imposing vague and viewpoint-discriminatory laws that target speech and conduct and are not narrowly tailored to any asserted state interest,” the lawsuit charges.
In a statement after the filing, ADF Legal Counsel Julia Payne said, “Women who become unexpectedly pregnant should be empowered with life-affirming options, emotional support, and practical resources.”
Vermont’s law, however, does the opposite – it impedes women’s ability to receive critical services during a difficult time in their lives and suppresses the free-speech rights of faith-based pregnancy centers.
Pregnancy centers should be free to serve women and offer the support they need without fear of unjust government punishment.
After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, blue states – like Colorado and now Vermont – decided to specifically target pregnancy resource centers, with the goal of making abortion the only option available for women facing an unplanned pregnancy.
Additionally, those on the left like to assert that they are pro-women. This also isn’t true. If it was, they wouldn’t be targeting pregnancy resource centers, which exist to provide care to women.
According to the Charlotte Lozier Institute, in 2019, the nation’s 2,700 centers served nearly 2 million people with services and material assistance valued at over $266 million.
In one year, the pregnancy centers:
- Conducted 486,213 free ultrasounds.
- Performed 731,884 free pregnancy tests.
- Held 967,251 free consultations with new clients.
- Provided 291,230 clients with parents and prenatal education classes.
- Helped 21,698 clients with after-abortion support and recovery sessions.
- 810 locations offered free STD testing.
- 563 locations offered free STD treatment onsite.
- 2,525 locations offered free material assistance including baby items (diapers, baby clothing outfits, new car seats and strollers etc.).
These services were provided by 14,977 paid staff and 53,855 volunteers.
The work that our nation’s pregnancy resource centers do is nothing short of incredible. The above statistics represent the hard work of tens of thousands of people, and the generous donations of millions of Americans.
As Christians, we believe that the purpose of government is to promote what is good and punish what is evil.
For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer (Romans 13:3-4, ESV).
But all too often in our age, the opposite is true. Many state governments frequently promote what is evil and punish those who do good. Such is the case in Vermont.
Last year, Vermont was one of six states that sided with the pro-abortion lobby by passing a ballot measure which legalized abortion up until birth. In fact, the state – by a 76.77% to 23.23% margin – approved Proposal 5, which codified the right to “personal reproductive autonomy” into the state’s constitution. In effect, this legalized all abortions and permitted minors to receive transgender medical interventions without their parent’s knowledge or consent.
But it wasn’t enough for Vermont to legalize actions which are immoral. No, the state had to incentivize them and punish those who dare to work to help women and save babies’ lives.
That is a tragedy. And hopefully, it will not stand up in court.
The case is National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Clark.
Focus on the Family has been working to turn the cultural tide and save mothers and babies from abortion for years. Since beginning the Option Ultrasound Program in 2004, Focus has helped save nearly half a million lives.
Our goal is to save one million babies by 2025. Just $60 will help save a life through Option Ultrasound. Will you partner with us to save a life from abortion here?
If you are experiencing an unexpected pregnancy and want to learn more about your options, you can visit My Choice Network here.
When you need someone to talk to about your baby, or whatever else you’re going through, we’re here. Please reach out. 1-800-A-FAMILY.
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