Instead of free speech, the latest Supreme Court abortion case was about “lying” and “fake” clinics – according to the feminist media, that is.
The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that California can’t force pro-life pregnancy centers to distribute information about abortion. The justices voted 5 to 4 in National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, a case that challenged California’s 2015 FACT Act. Among other things, the act required licensed centers to notify clients of “public programs” with “free or low-cost access” to “services” like abortion – along with a phone number for more information.
Writing the opinion of the court, Justice Clarence Thomas held that petitioners, including NIFLA, “are likely to succeed on the merits of their claim that the FACT Act violates the First Amendment.”
But the case wasn’t about forcing pregnancy centers to advertise abortion – or ending babies’ lives – when they exist to save babies’ lives. No, according to feminist media, the case was about “fake” clinics that “lie.”
Marie Claire’s headline warned that the Supreme Court sided with “anti-choice” centers. Deputy news editor Megan Friedman reported on the “major setback for abortion rights advocates.” Not, for example, a win for pro-life advocates.
Instead, Friedman readily cited critics who “say these centers intentionally mislead women who are seeking abortions” without noting the pro-life movement’s take: that these centers serve women.
NIFLA, for example, represents more than 1,400 pro-life pregnancy centers nationwide, including roughly 135 centers in California. Abortion groups happily call all of them “fake,” without digging deeper to find that many centers are straightforward about what they do with services including medical care, baby supplies, parenting classes, job skills, and even housing.
And according to an upcoming report by the Charlotte Lozier Institute, the research arm of the Susan B. Anthony List, and the March for Life, Pregnancy Help Centers “provided almost 2,000,000 people with free services, with estimated community cost savings of at least $161 million annually” in 2017.
Women’s sites don’t talk about that.
And if NIFLA had lost the case, those pregnancy centers would have begun disappearing.
“They will have to comply with the law or essentially be fined and have penalties levied against them and many will shut down,” Thomas Glessner, founder and president of NIFLA, said in March. “I predict that, beginning in the blue states, similar legislation will be passed.”
But that didn’t worry the media. Along with the others, Refinery29 attacked the “anti-abortion” centers. Political news writer Andrea González-Ramírez noted that “anti-abortion advocates” called the ruling a “pro-life” win after the Supreme Court agreed with them “to the dismay of reproductive rights advocates.” She, like many of the other writers, assumed their readers weren’t pro-life.
For Teen Vogue, writer Elly Belle wrote about the centers “otherwise known as fake abortion clinics” and worried the decision “could set a dangerous precedent for protecting those who misrepresent and lie about reproductive health care options.”
Romper’s headline lamented, “It Is Legal To Lie To Pregnant Women… But We’ve Been Lying To Women For A Long Time.” Editor Danielle Campoamor tried to debunk “fake health clinics” and called the ruling “abhorrent to anyone who believes pregnant women should have be provided with accurate, evidence-based, judgment-free information about their health care.”
While Wonkette’s headline complained the court “Sends Us To A Fake Abortion Clinic Without Even A Kiss,” Rewire.News senior legal analyst Imani Gandy added, “Lies are not normally protected free speech. But on Tuesday, the Court in NIFLA made it clear that if they are lies related to abortion, they are.”
While these sites all claim to cater to women, their stories clarified again that they only cater to women who support abortion. Not pro-life women. Not women in the womb. Not women who rely on the free services provided by pregnancy centers.
The media also forget the pro-life movement’s numbers in the United States. Published earlier in June, a Gallup poll found that Americans who identify as pro-life went up to 48% to tie with the 48% of Americans who call themselves pro-choice. In other words, the country is divided on abortion. The feminist media, it would seem, are not.