In 2015 California passed what is known as the California Reproductive FACT Act, a law focused specifically at pro-life pregnancy centers in the state. The state legislature presented this law as a response to so-called “fake clinics” that were supposedly offering false information to the women who came into their offices. In real terms, that meant that these clinics were simply not telling those who came through their doors that abortion was an option for them. For the pro-abortion lobby, such an omission is tantamount to a medical doctor not telling a cancer patient about the option of chemotherapy, which is why the California legislature believed that they must step in and protect women from receiving all this “false information” about…well, about the preservation of the life that is growing inside the womb.
It wasn’t that long ago that those who supported abortion were adamantly proclaiming to the public that their only desire was to ensure that abortions were “safe, legal, and rare” (their emphasis was usually on that last word). The image of back-alley procedures in dingy, dirty facilities was often paired with the stark image of a wire coat hanger, conjuring up fears that thousands of women – desperate to kill their unborn children – would resort to the most barbaric of methods to do so (never mind that the statistics never bore this out, even pre-Roe v. Wade). By keeping them legal and safe, so the argument went, we could also keep them rare, because as we all know, abortion proponents such as Planned Parenthood is at the vanguard of working to reduce the overall number of abortions.
Today, the farcical nature of that old argument has been fully exposed (though, it should be noted, many of us saw through the nonsense of such a statement from the beginning). The law in California makes it clear that the rallying cry of the pro-abortion crowd has replaced the word “rare” with “abundant,” which is what the goal had always been. It is here that we see a glaring contrast of worldviews. For the pro-life side, children are seen as a gift from God, a heritage from the Lord (Psalm 127:3); for the pro-abortion side, children are a burden that ought to be easily shed.
This week, the Supreme Court of the United States heard oral arguments in a case that had been brought by the pregnancy centers against the state of California (National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra). Pro-life advocates were uneasy in the weeks leading up to this point, unsure where the Court would land on this issue. The balance on the Court is precarious, and one is always unsure where Justice Anthony Kennedy will land. However, during the oral arguments phase of the case, even the normally pro-abortion justices were surprisingly skeptical of California’s claim that this law was the equivalent of providing informed consent prior to a course of treatment. Justice Elena Kagan, an abortion activist, even suggested that the law had been “gerrymandered” to single out pro-life abortion clinics. After oral arguments had concluded, many Court observers suggested that it looked like the California law would be struck down, but such enthusiasm should be measured as the Court is notoriously difficult to predict. Continue to keep this case lifted in prayer and in your sights, because if the Court says that pro-life pregnancy centers (like our very own Alternatives) must advise clients that low- or no-cost abortions are available, just how far could that logic extend? Just something to think about…