Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 25 July |
The Feast of Saint James the Great
home iconNews
line break icon

Supreme Court rules in favor of pro-life pregnancy centers in free speech case

Ian McWilliams CC

Zelda Caldwell - published on 06/26/18 - updated on 06/26/18

Justices also upheld President Trump's "travel ban"

In what is being hailed as a victory for pro-life and free speech advocates, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that a California law requiring pro-life advocates to inform women of the availability of abortion services was most likely a violation of constitutional rights to free speech..

In the 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court reversed a lower court decision that upheld a California law requiring crisis pregnancy centers to tell patients about the availability of state-funded family planning services, including abortion-related services.

In National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Xavier Becerra, opponents of the 2015 law had maintained that the law violated their First Amendment rights by compelling citizens to speak on behalf of a government program that violated their personal beliefs.

Justice Clarence Thomas, writing for the majority, said that the law “targets speakers, not speech, and imposes an unduly burdensome disclosure requirement that will chill their protected speech.”

Penny Nance, CEO and President of Concerned Women hailed the decision as a protection of free speech.

“We applaud the US Supreme Court for sending a clear statement today that pro-life Americans cannot be discriminated against and targeted by government,” said Nance, according to an NPR report.

“To be clear, this case was not about abortion. Malicious abortion politics definitely were the motivation behind it, but the case centered on the inappropriate mandate of the state compelling pro-life clinics to promote abortion in violation of their consciences. The case was about forced speech,” she said.

The Supreme Court, in another 5-4 ruling, also upheld President Trump’s executive order, known as a “travel ban” which restricted entry from seven countries: Iran, North Korea, Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Venezuela.

Writing for the majority, Chief Justice Roberts said that the president had the authority to restrict travel which was not affected by incendiary comments Trump made during the presidential campaign.

“Plaintiffs argue that this President’s words strike at fundamental standards of respect and tolerance, in violation of our constitutional tradition,” Roberts wrote. “But the issue before us is not whether to denounce the statements. It is instead the significance of those statements in reviewing a Presidential directive, neutral on its face, addressing a matter within the core of executive responsibility. In doing so, we must consider not only the statements of a particular President, but also the authority of the Presidency itself,” wrote Roberts.

Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Philip Kosloski
This morning prayer is easy to memorize
Cerith Gardiner
8 Powerful quotes from Nightbirde that will fill you with hope
Daniel Esparza
5 Curious things you might not know about Catholicism
Philip Kosloski
Why is Latin the official language of the Church, instead of Aram...
Daniel Esparza
3 Legendary pilgrimages off the beaten path
Daniel Esparza
Who are the cherubim in the Bible?
Zelda Caldwell
Did Jesus wear “tefillin” as some observant Jews do t...
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.