California must pay pro-life pregnancy centers $399K , judge rules By Michael Gryboski, for Christian Post
GNN Note – The good news of the day story!
California must pay three pro-life pregnancy centers and a conservative law firm $399,000 in legal fees and other costs after a state law meant to force pregnancy centers to promote abortion was struck down.
Last October, California’s Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency (FACT) Act was declared unconstitutional, with a district court granting a permanent injunction against the law.
U.S. District Court Judge Terry Hatter for the Central District of California issued an order Monday saying that California must pay the Pregnancy and Family Resource Center of San Bernardino, His Nesting Place of Long Beach, Birth Choice of the Desert in La Quinta, and the Liberty Counsel $399,000.
Mat Staver, founder and chairman of the Liberty Counsel, said in a statement released Tuesday that the judge’s order was “a great victory for children, mothers, and families.”
“Pro-life pregnancy centers will no longer be compelled to speak a message that goes against their mission to save the lives of babies and women,” said Staver.
“The law violated freedom of speech. The First Amendment protects the right to speak and the right not to speak. Faith-based pro-life pregnancy centers cannot be forced to promote human genocide.”
In 2015, California passed the FACT Act, which mandated that all licensed pregnancy health centers, among other things, include a sign that refers patients to abortion clinics.
Failure to comply with the law would have resulted in a $500 fine on the first offense and then a $1,000 fine for each subsequent offense.
In October 2016, a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the law, upholding a lower court decision that the act “survives any level of scrutiny” and “does not discriminate based on viewpoint.”
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