California Court Squashes Freedom of Religion Yet Again, Forcing Pro-Life Pregnancy Centers to Inform Women of Abortion Options
CHARLOTTE, N.C.—A liberal court in California recently ruled that pro-life pregnancy centers must now inform pregnant mothers of their local abortion options. But the ruling isn’t a two-way street. Abortion clinics don’t have to inform women about their pro-life alternatives.
Think this isn’t a nationwide election issue? Think again.
Evangelical leader Dr. Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary (SES, www.ses.edu), recently brought news of this freedom-squashing ruling to listeners across the nation through his daily “Bringing Every Thought Captive” radio feature, which airs on nearly 800 stations.
Reported Land, “The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the most liberal jurisdiction in America, and the harbinger of what the rest of the of the federal appeals courts will look like if Hillary Clinton wins the presidency, ruled in collaborative foolishness that pro-life pregnancy centers will be required by law to, in effect, promote that which they believe is evil—the killing of unborn babies through abortion. In other words, if a pregnant mother comes into a pro-life pregnancy center for counseling, that center must tell her about available local pro-abortion centers. That’s the law in California under the Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency Act.
“So,” he added, “in order to continue providing pro-life alternatives and counseling to pregnant mothers, these centers must violate their own religious convictions and consciences and tell the mother where she can go to abort her precious baby. Of course, there is no similar requirement for pro-abortion clinics to tell the pregnant mother about pro-life clinics and options. In fact, they are not even required to show the mother an ultrasound of her baby.”
Concerning the court’s decision, the Alliance Defending Freedom senior counsel remarked, “It’s bad enough if the government tells you what you can’t say, but a law that tells you what you must say—under threat of severe punishment—is even more unjust and dangerous,” according to a story in The Christian Post, where Land serves as executive editor.
“This case will, in all likelihood,” Land continued, “now go to the Supreme Court, which could currently split 4-4. In this case, the effect would be that the 9th Circuit Court’s decision would stand, and freedom of speech and freedom of religion will continue to be trampled underfoot. I can think of no better illustration of why this presidential election is so critically important to the future of our federal judiciary.”
Judges in the case ruled that such a law forcing all licensed pregnancy-related clinics to inform their patients of all publicly funded family planning services, including abortion and contraception, through a disseminated notice is constitutional, reported The Christian Post. But opponents say the ruling infringes upon the free speech and religious freedom rights of pro-life pregnancy centers by forcing them to inform pregnant mothers and families about the option of abortion.
In late September, the Hyde Amendment, a law that protects taxpayers from paying for abortions against their will, celebrated its 40th anniversary. It is estimated that 2 million lives have been saved by the law. On the flipside, however, Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, recently “celebrated” a 100-year milestone of its own on Oct. 16, marking the opening of the first Planned Parenthood clinic in Brooklyn, New York.
SES is a leader in apologetics education—teaching students to defend their faith and talk intelligently, passionately and rationally about what they believe and why they believe it. Many courses focus on societal issues from a Christian worldview, delve into scientific apologetics or contemplate creation research.
SES explores ethical issues through its “Ethics in Emerging Technology” program; for more information, visit www.ethics.ses.edu. At SES’s apologetics blog, www.WhyDoYouBelieve.org, Land and other SES voices address the most pressing issues of the day.
Land is featured in his nationally syndicated daily radio commentary, “Bringing Every Thought Captive,” which airs on nearly 800 stations nationwide, including nearly 200 on the American Family Radio Network, 100 on the Bott Radio Network and almost 400 on the CSN radio network. “Bringing Every Thought Captive” is also podcast daily on the free SES mobile app and airs locally in the Charlotte, N.C., area every weekday. The “Bringing Every Thought Captive” television program, hosted by Land, airs on the NRB Network Wednesdays at 8 p.m. and midnight EST. “Bringing Every Thought Captive” also reaches nearly 2 million households in the Chicago area on the Total Living Network. For details about stations, times, downloads and more, click here.
Land has taught as a visiting or adjunct professor for several seminaries and has authored or edited more than 15 books. He earned his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Oxford University in England and his bachelor’s degree (magna cum laude) from Princeton University. Land also earned a Master of Theology (Honors Program) degree from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, where he received the Broadman Seminarian Award as the Outstanding Graduating Student. Dr. Land was the 2013 Watchman Award recipient from the Family Research Council for his leadership on moral and cultural issues. He also received the Phillip E. Johnson Award for Liberty and Truth from Biola University in 2010. Land served previously (1988-2013) as president of The Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, the Southern Baptist Convention’s official entity assigned to address social, moral and ethical concerns, with particular attention to their impact on American families. In 2014, he was appointed as a Senior Research Fellow of the ERLC’s Research Institute, and in 2015, he was named in the top 15 of Newsmax’s “Top 100 Christian Leaders in America.”
Southern Evangelical Seminary invites visitors to its web site to join the more than 20,000 people who have already downloaded the SES Apologetics App for Windows mobile devices and Android and Apple phones and tablets. Those with the app can get the very best news and information in Christian apologetics, including articles, audio, video, blogs and more from today’s most able defenders of the Christian faith—William Lane Craig, Lee Strobel, Josh McDowell, William Dembski, Frank Turek, Hugh Ross, Gary Habermas and other well-known speakers, authors and teachers.
Southern Evangelical Seminary has been ranked as one of the top graduate programs for General Christian Apologetics by TheBestSchools.org’s “Top 10 Graduate Programs in Christian Apologetics.”
For more information on SES, visit its web site at www.ses.edu or its Facebook page, follow the SES Twitter feed, @sesapologetics, or call (800) 77-TRUTH. For more information about SES’ “Ethics in Emerging Technology” program, visit www.ethics.ses.edu.