Blog Post

Pro-Life Lawyer Heading to Supreme Court Tomorrow Asks for Prayer


The lawyer who is arguing at the U.S. Supreme Court tomorrow for pro-life pregnancy centers who are being forced by the state of California to provide women with information on abortion is asking for prayers before this potential landmark case is heard.

Michael Farris, President, CEO & General Counsel of Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF), sent out an email today asking for prayers as he defends the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates and California pro-life pregnancy centers in their network at the United States Supreme Court tomorrow.

“This is a chance to win for freedom of speech…and win for life,” Farris said. “There’s a lot on the line. And I need your prayers.”

The case was brought by pro-life, faith-based nonprofit pregnancy centers in California who are suing the state’s attorney general, Xavier Becerra, for infringing on their First Amendment rights with a law requiring certain pregnancy clinics to notify their patients that the state offers free and low-cost abortions. The centers contend that by forcing them to refer their clients for abortion, the state is compelling them to speak in a way that violates their religious beliefs.

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals heard the case but ruled against the centers, saying that the law was regulating “professional speech” rather than individual speech which requires much less scrutiny.

This decision is what triggered the centers to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court who will hear the case tomorrow.

Pregnancy centers provide vital services to pregnant women by discussing all the options available: parenting, adoption, and abortion. They also offer pregnancy tests, ultrasounds, and STI testing. And because so many women who want to keep their babies feel forced by economic circumstances to abort their babies, pregnancy centers help these women long after their babies are born with material resources such as diapers, wipes, clothing, and formula.

Unfortunately, the new law is mandating that these life-affirming centers post large signs in their waiting rooms or provide women with written notice that the state offers free or low-cost abortions, including a phone number where women can get more information.

“In other words, these pro-life pregnancy centers must advertise for the abortion industry in their own waiting rooms, sometimes even before they even get the chance to speak with the women,” writes Sarah Kramer for the ADF. “This directly contradicts their mission and their reason for existing. And it changes the conversation with the woman, putting words in the mouths of the pregnancy center staff members. That certainly doesn’t sound like free speech.”

Government should not have the power to compel Americans to speak a message that contradicts their beliefs.

“These pregnancy centers simply want to offer love and care to women while saving innocent lives. They want to do a little good in the world—to make a difference for Christ. Now they are the target of billion-dollar abortion groups who hate the mission of the centers and everything they stand for,” Farris writes.

“If the government can force pregnancy centers to speak a message against their mission, they can force each one of us to do the same. And that’s something that should concern us all.”

This is why it is so important that we join together in prayer tomorrow for what could be a landmark case.

“Please pray for me as I argue the case tomorrow,” Farris asks. “Pray for the Supreme Court justices and the people on the other side of the case. And most of all, please pray for our nation. This case is a symptom of a growing movement in America to undermine our First Amendment freedoms. And we truly need God’s grace if we’re going to turn the tide.”