A bill that violates the free speech rights of privately-funded pro-life pregnancy centers in the state of California by forcing them to advertise and promote abortion has now passed the state Assembly and advances to the Senate.
AB 775 passed its last Assembly hurdle Tuesday when it was approved by the members with a straight party-line vote, with Democrats in support of the bill.
The mandated government speech required by AB 775 includes a statement that all pro-life pregnancy centers must post publicly:
“California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion, for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [insert the telephone number].”
The bill’s authors, David Chiu (D) and Autumn R. Burke (D), found vocal support from NARAL Pro-Choice and Planned Parenthood California, as well as from California’s Democratic attorney general, Kamala Harris, who defended their bill as a righteous cause. As co-author Burke said, “It’s hard to understand how those who claim to care about women find it so threatening to inform them about accessing affordable health care.”
But Burke’s deceitful comment and attitude was already address by Assemblyman James Gallagher (R), who previously asked co-authors Burke and Chiu questions challenging their motives:
“Why doesn’t your notice say, ‘adoption’ in it? ‘Free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services, prenatal care, adoption, counseling.’ I don’t see any of those services listed in your notice.
“You’re saying that these private (entities) who receive no funding—no government funding whatsoever—they’re completely private, they have to tell about the government-funded programs that are out there, but the same is not true of the government programs. They don’t have to say, ‘There’s these groups out there who have qualified, licensed people.’”
The obvious answer remains that pro-lifers are being excluded from having full rights, but abortion advocates may continue to focus on abortion without having to promote choosing adoption, or to advertise the variety of options for free prenatal care and support.
Instead, AB 775 strips people of their religious liberties and free exercise of speech by mandating government-mandating speech that requires these private pro-life agencies and their workers speak out against their own moral and religious values or be fined.
As the California Family Alliance reported as the bill made its way through several Assembly committees, “As currently amended, the bill would force over 160 PRCs in California to use their lobbies, websites, forms and literature to promote state-funded ‘free’ abortions, a direct violation of the moral standards of most PRCs. Violators face heavy fines of $500-$1,000 for each infraction.”
That could be rephrased to say, “You will pay the government every time you exercise your deeply-held religious value and help save the life of a baby.”
The bill, while absurd in its requirements, has been on the fast track to passage, and now advances to the Senate which houses 25 Democrats and 14 Republicans.
All concerned citizens may contact their California State Senators via this link.