California Democrats, ostensibly “pro-choice,” want to restrict the choices provided by anti-abortion pregnancy crisis centers but have not succeeded in regulating them out of existence, despite many efforts to do so.
The Los Angeles Times reports that donations to the pro-life centers have increased since the state has passed ever-more-radical laws to facilitate abortion, and that legislators have struggled to respond with new laws:
Across California, where Democratic lawmakers have crafted some of the nation’s strongest abortion rights laws, antiabortion pregnancy centers appear to be untouchable despite repeated attempts to rein them in.
And some are even expanding, boosted by an influx of donations from abortion opponents who object to the enhanced protections enacted in California in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs. Wade.
Two state bills to limit them quietly stalled this month, even as the latest package of abortion access laws is otherwise expected to succeed.
Some of California’s past attempts to regulate pregnancy crisis centers have been ruled unconstitutional. In the case of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra in 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a California law requiring the pregnancy centers to post information about where to obtain abortions. The Court, in a 5-4 decision, found the law violated the First Amendment by compelling speech.
Across the nation, pro-life pregnancy centers have been exposed to physical attack since last year’s leak of the draft Supreme Court opinion in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization striking down Roe v. Wade (1973). Attorney General Merrick Garland told Congress that more pro-life activists had been prosecuted for allegedly violating access to abortion clinics than pro-abortion terrorists because the latter operated at night.