The National institute of Family and Life Associates, which several years back went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court to be exempted from a California state statute that demanded the pro-lifers promote abortion in their centers, is back in court.
Over a demand that they provide speech with which they do not agree.
NIFLA and two pregnancy care centers are challenging Vermont state officials for unconstitutionally restricting the centers’ speech and provision of services, according to ADF, which is working on the case.
A lawsuit has been filed on behalf of NIFLA and the two centers.
The legal team explained back in May, Gov. Phil Scott signed SB 37 into law, restricting the ability of the pro-life pregnancy centers to continue providing help and support to Vermont women and families.
“The law censors the centers’ ability to advertise their services. It also precludes the ability of centers to offer even non-medical services, information, and counseling unless provided by a licensed health care provider,” the ADF reported.
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“Women who become unexpectedly pregnant should be empowered with life-affirming options, emotional support, and practical resources,” said ADF lawyer Julia Payne.
“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.”
NIFLA is described in the announcement as a “religious nonprofit that provides pro-life pregnancy center members with legal resources and counsel, with the aim of developing a network of life-affirming ministries in every community across the nation.”
There are six such facilities in Vermont.
ADF warned of the danger facing the pro-lifers, over their speech.
“Under the law, the state attorney general has the authority to fine pregnancy centers up to $10,000 if she believes its life-affirming messages are misleading,” the report said.
But it appears discriminatory on its face, as “an abortion clinic that provides identical information would not be subject to the law,” ADF said.
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