U.S. Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Free Speech for Pregnancy Resource Centers

In a much-anticipated decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 5-4 this week in favor of the free speech rights of California pregnancy resource centers. The Court struck down two provisions of a new California law that requires pro-life pregnancy resource centers to carry a state-sponsored pro-choice message. The court ruled that the first provision requiring licensed pregnancy resource centers to notify their clients that the state of California provides free or low-cost services including abortion unconstitutionally alters the content of the centers’ pro-life speech. The second provision requiring unlicensed centers to inform their clients that they do not provide medical services unconstitutionally burdens their pro-life speech. 

The ruling is a victory for pregnancy resource centers, which have increasingly been targeted by abortion-minded state legislatures because they don’t provide abortion, counseling for abortion, or other services state clinics offer. Pregnancy resource centers provide spiritual, material and emotional support to their clients in an effort to help them carry their babies to term as an alternative to abortion. The Missouri Catholic Conference joins the California Catholic Conference, which filed a brief with the Supreme Court challenging the law, in applauding this decision. Read their statement here.