California Catholic Conference Applauds U.S. Supreme Court Ruling Upholding Free Speech Rights of Crisis Pregnancy Centers

SACRAMENTO – The Most Rev. Jaime Soto, Roman Catholic Bishop of Sacramento and President of the California Catholic Conference, released the following statement today concerning a US Supreme Court ruling overturning a California law restricting the free speech rights of crisis pregnancy centers.  The law, called the “California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care and Transparency Act” (“FACT Act”), singled out crisis pregnancy centers and required them to post signs and provide information about the availability of abortion services.

“The First Amendment to the United States Constitution may be the most precious, because it protects and enshrines our right to free speech, peaceful assembly and the free exercise of our religion.

“Today’s decision by the Supreme Court rejecting the State of California’s legal attempts to muzzle the free speech of women’s health clinics and pregnancy crisis centers shows why.

“The Court specifically noted the FACT Act ‘burdened free speech,’ and imposed a ‘government scripted’ disclosure requirement, but ‘left unburdened those speakers whose messages are in accord with its own views.’

“This is a victory for reason over ideology.  This is a victory for women, offering them hopeful alternatives to abortion. And it’s a victory for children, who will no longer be taken from their mothers because of a senseless governmental preference for abortion.”