The Corner

Law & the Courts

NIFLA Supreme Court Case Exposes Abortion Groups’ Opposition to Choice

(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

The Supreme Court this morning heard oral arguments in the case NIFLA v. Becerra, which concerns the Reproductive FACT Act, a California bill that compels crisis-pregnancy centers (CPCs) to advertise for state-funded abortion services.

The abortion-rights lobby’s campaign in favor of this law has been particularly revealing. Leading up to today’s arguments, Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and EMILY’s List have boosted the law by conducting an all-out assault against CPCs, calling them “fake women’s health centers” and accusing them of luring women in with “deceptive” information.

In reality, pregnancy-resource centers are extremely clear about what they do. They’re operated by pro-life individuals, of course, but nearly all of them have doctors and other medical professionals on staff, and they offer a variety of resources largely free of charge, including ultrasounds and other medical care. And these centers are upfront about the fact that they don’t offer abortions, because to do so would conflict with their mission, which is to enable women to choose life for their babies.

Primarily, these centers exist to counsel and assist women facing crisis pregnancies, whether they aren’t sure what choice to make or feel unable to choose life. Often, a woman will specifically seek out a CPC because she wishes to keep her child but feels unable to do so, whether because the child’s father or her own family wants her to abort, or because she doesn’t have enough income to support herself and her child.

The resources at CPCs enable women to choose life. And they support pregnant women every step of the way, referring them elsewhere for medical care as needed and usually offering extensive support after the child has been born, too. Abortion groups have made it very clear that they disapprove of this type of assistance.

For all of their talk about the ultimate importance of the “right to choose” and “female autonomy,” Planned Parenthood and NARAL can’t stand the idea that women might freely choose to keep a pregnancy — and that they might be aided in that choice by groups that tell them they don’t need to abort their children in order to be free.

This animosity toward CPCs is evident from the fact that Planned Parenthood collaborated with California legislators to craft the very text of the FACT Act. The bill is an explicit effort to cripple CPCs and force them to direct their clients toward abortion, which is antithetical to the mission of CPCs and unhelpful to women who wish to keep their pregnancies.

But perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that “pro-choice” groups don’t actually support any choices other than abortion. After all, abortion providers have a vested interest in forcing CPCs to direct clients to abortion rather than helping them keep their babies — just take a look at the way abortion procedures contribute to Planned Parenthood’s bottom line.

No matter how the NIFLA case is decided, it has been invaluable in exposing these groups for being affirmatively pro-abortion, not truly “pro-choice.”

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