The Trump HHS Office of Civil Rights has issued a letter stating that it is going to investigate Hawaii for forcing pro-life pregnancy counseling centers to provide information about abortion, as a violation of the Church Amendment and other statutes and constitutional protections. From the Alliance Defending Freedom press release:
ADF attorneys submitted the complaint to HHS on behalf of A Place for Women pregnancy center in Hawaii. The complaint explained that the rights of doctors and pregnancy care centers “to offer medical assistance to women in need without compromising their religious convictions relating to abortion or abortion-causing drugs are protected by the First Amendment to the United States Constitution” in addition to federal law and the Hawaii Constitution.
Hawaii SB 501 requires pro-life pregnancy care centers, which offer free ultrasound and other prenatal care to pregnant women, to direct women to a state agency that provides abortion referrals. Specifically, the law requires pro-life pregnancy centers to post large signs or provide fliers which advertise that the “state of Hawaii provides free or low-cost access to comprehensive planning services”—including abortion-inducing drugs—and they must also include both a website address and phone number for the scheduling of those services.
Other states have gone down the same coerced speech road, and the issue is also before the Supreme Court in a case challenging a similar California law.
To say the least, this isn’t the Obama HHS.