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Sen. Daines joins amicus brief in free speech case at pregnancy centers

Sen. Steve Daines

Sen. Steve Daines has joined a bipartisan amicus brief before the U.S. Supreme Court to defend the freedom of speech of pro-life pregnancy centers in a case rooted in California.

Daines and 143 other members of Congress representing both parties filed the brief to protect what they deem to be free speech issues in the National Institute of Family Life Advocates v. Becerra.

The case challenges the constitutionality of a California law that requires pro-life pregnancy centers to advertise for abortions. It also requires non-medical pregnancy centers to publish disclaimers of their non-medical status.

Daines said that pro-life pregnancy centers play a critical role in providing life-affirming support to pregnant women facing difficult pregnancy decisions, and that the California law goes too far.

“Under (the law), these organizations – many of which are religious nonprofits – would be compelled to advertise the very abortions that they are morally opposed to,” said Daines. “California’s coercive law does not simply restrict these centers’ speech, it fundamentally alters it – in turn violating the centers’ constitutionally protected conscience rights.”

The brief was signed by 16 members of the Senate and 128 members of the House and filed in support of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates. The brief urges the Supreme Court, which has agreed to hear the case, to strike down the California law.

According to the brief, the California law compels pregnancy centers opposed to abortion to comply with “burdensome requirements” that force the centers to provide non-medical information that contradicts their moral beliefs.

“I call on the Supreme Court to uphold the First Amendment and strike down this unconstitutional law,” Daines said in a statement, noting that the National March for Life is planned in Washington, D.C., this Friday.