The right’s hypocrisy on abortion and the First Amendment was clear to see last week as the U.S. Supreme Court took up a California case involving a state law regulating so-called “crisis pregnancy centers.” The law requires health clinics to tell patients that free or low-cost services like birth control and abortion are available through state programs. It also requires crisis pregnancy centers — fake clinics that exist primarily to mislead, lie to and shame women seeking an abortion — to tell clients that they actually offer no health care services.
That would seem like common sense to most folks: tell patients about all services available to them and tell them the truth if you don’t provide any health care services. But anti-abortion groups are howling mad. They claim the law violates the First Amendment rights of anti-abortion clinics by requiring them to give patients that information, and they say that fake clinics shouldn’t be forced to tell clients that they can’t and wont’ provide health care services. “Compelled speech is not the answer to cultural conflict,” one Texas-based religious-right group argued last week.
Well, that group should know something about “compelled speech.” It and other anti-abortion groups support a Texas law that requires health care providers to give women… Read More