U.S. SUPREME COURT ANNOUNCES NIFLA DECISION: Illinois Law To Also Be Affected



U.S. SUPREME COURT: PREGNANCY CENTERS CANNOT BE FORCED TO ADVERTISE ABORTION

Mauck & Baker to pursue similar victory in Illinois 

WASHINGTON, D.C.—On June 26, 2018, the United States Supreme Court released its opinion in NIFLA v. Becerra a case about whether California may compel pro-life pregnancy resource centers to repeat the state government’s pro-abortion message. The Court ruled 5-4 in favor of NIFLA, a victory for pro-life advocates, which will, according to attorney Whit Brisky of Chicago law firm Mauck & Baker, LLC, pave the way for other pregnancy resource centers wanting to protect their first amendment rights by challenging similar statutes in other states.

The Supreme Court’s decision comes nearly six months after several Illinois pregnancy centers, represented by Mauck & Baker and the Alliance Defending Freedom, took a similar stand against IL SB 1564, an Illinois law restricting the rights of these pro-life centers. Mauck & Baker also filed an amicus brief in the Becerra case on behalf of pregnancy centers in Illinois.

“In light of the Supreme Court’s opinion in NIFLA v. Becerra, Mauck and Baker will be returning to court soon to ask that the Illinois statute be struck down as well, if the State does not concede its unconstitutionality first,” Brisky said.

The Supreme Court’s decision held that the California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency Act (FACT Act), a law mandating that pro-life pregnancy resource centers advertise local abortion services on their premises, would contradict the beliefs these centers were trying to promote and constitute compelled speech.

“By compelling petitioners [pregnancy centers] to speak a particular message, it ‘alters the content of [their] speech’… For example, one of the state-sponsored services that the licensed notice requires petitioners to advertise is abortion—the very practice that petitioners are devoted to opposing,” the U.S. Supreme Court opinion reads.

There are thousands of pregnancy centers across the country that provide women with free resources to help them through their pregnancies and into parenthood. This ruling will help them continue these vital services and, as a result, save the lives of many innocent babies.

View Supreme Court Opinion                              ####