In California, the government apparently believes it has the right to mandate pro-abortion advertising.
Democrat Governor Jerry Brown signed into law on Friday a bill that requires all licensed pregnancy centers – including pro-life and faith-based nonprofits – to inform their clients about “free or low-cost” abortion and contraceptive services available through government programs.
The so-called “Reproductive FACT Act” requires all pregnancy clinics within the state to post a notice on their premises that effectively advertises abortion services and assistance programs provided by local social services offices, according to CNSNews.
“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],” reads the official notice.
Pregnancy centers that fail to advertise the government-promoted abortion programs in California could be liable for a civil penalty of $500 for a first offense, and $1,000 for each subsequent offense.
Critics of the new law argue that the mandated notice violates the First Amendment rights of anti-abortion and faith-based nonprofits.
“Why is it okay for the government to force pro-life pregnancy centers against their will to advertise and promote government abortion services?” Republican Assemblywoman Shannon Grove asked in a statement after the bill’s passage.
“Does the government have a right to tell a newspaper what to write, a preacher what to preach, a private school what to teach? Of course not,” she said.
“Of course not” might be the Constitutionally correct answer to her rhetorical question, but knowing California’s big-government liberals, Grove may have just unwittingly given them a bunch of new ideas.