On Tuesday, the Thomas More Society filed suit against New York over a bill, passed with the sweeping and extreme pro-abortion legislation last fall, that could require pro-life pregnancy centers to hire pro-abortion employees. The Thomas More Society is representing Evergreen Association, Inc., which operates pro-life pregnancy centers in New York. In November, three other pro-life organizations filed suit over the same bill. The most recent suit, The Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief, was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.
The legislation at issue, SB 660, called the “Boss Bill,” prohibits “discrimination based on an individual’s or a dependent’s reproductive health decision making.” Pro-life organizations believe that this vague law means that they could not decline from hiring someone who does not share their pro-life stance or share in their mission and values. The law could force pro-life pregnancy centers to hire pro-abortion applicants.
Chris Slattery, Director of EMC Frontline one of the pregnancy centers run by Evergreen, explained in a press release, “We are all about saving the unborn lives threatened by abortion. Thus, we are all about offering alternatives to abortion. New York’s discriminatory laws undermine our charitable mission. How could we in good conscience hire someone who advocates abortion to encourage expectant mothers not to pursue that deadly route?”
Thomas More Society Special Counsel Timothy Belz stated, “This is especially egregious when you consider that the law was packaged with other bills specifically designed to strip away any regulation of abortion. New York’s ‘Boss Bill’ was passed in tandem with the state’s Reproductive Health Act which legalizes abortion until the birth of the child and the Comprehensive Contraception Coverage Act which requires health insurers to provide no-cost birth control, including abortifacient drugs, in their health plans.”
The Thomas More Society argues that the “Boss Bill” is unconstitutional because it violates the right to association (First Amendment), due process (Fourteenth Amendment), and free speech (First Amendment). The complete Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief can be read here.
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