On Tuesday, the Supreme Court ruled in a 5-4 decision that faith-based “crisis pregnancy centers,” or fake abortion clinics, are not required to advertise the option of abortion services available in California to their clients.
These clinics are known for deceiving and manipulating women by providing counseling services to persuade them into carrying their pregnancy to full term. They are run by anti-choice Christians and often fabricate medical facts about abortion to send their clients in the opposite way.
All licensed medical clinics in California under the Reproductive FACT (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency) Act, are required to make it known to clients that California has programs that provide “immediate, free or low-cost access” to abortions. The law states that “every individual possesses a fundamental right of privacy with respect to reproductive decisions.”
These anti-choice clinics and their supporters saw this law to be an attack on their free-speech by forcing clinics to advertise a message they don’t promote, while pro-choice advocates view it as an abortion rights issue where women should be given the appropriate options and honesty when seeking medical providers.
SCOTUS ruled today against the California law regulating fake health clinics.
— Media Matters (@mmfa) June 26, 2018
Justice Clarence Thomas, who wrote for the majority, claims the law “imposes an unduly burdensome disclosure requirement that will chill their protected speech.”
When the news broke, reproductive nonprofits and activists were quick to speak on their outrage.
“Notably, today's ruling was decided by one vote,” Ilyse Hogue, President of NARAL Pro-Choice America wrote for CNN. “One vote was the difference between ending the lies at these women's health centers and allowing pregnant women and their families access to comprehensive information.”
After explaining that anti-choice politicians and supporters are counting on Trump’s Supreme Court, Hogue is not discouraged for the future of gender equality. “[W]e will fight each judicial appointment. We will fight every anti-woman piece of legislation in Congress and in state legislatures. And if our representatives don't stand up for our constitutional right to choose, we will elect new ones this November.”
Planned Parenthood spoke out on Twitter as well. “Despite today's ruling, know that we will never stop fighting for everyone’s right to have medically accurate information about all of their options. #EndTheLies”
JUST IN: SCOTUS voted 5-4 in favor of fake women's health centers. Despite today's ruling, know that we will never stop fighting for everyone’s right to have medically accurate information about all of their options. #EndTheLies https://t.co/IyULv1FhDD
— Planned Parenthood Action (@PPact) June 26, 2018
Despite the moves being made to erase the progress made for women’s reproductive health and gender equality, activists are not backing down and will continue to make their voices heard.