Deanna Wallace, Director of Legal Communications
In recent weeks the Supreme Court’s oral arguments on NIFLA v. Becerra have drawn media attention to Pregnancy Care Centers (PCC) across the nation, and to their commitment to caring for pregnant women in need. While the court case is obviously in the spotlight right now, big things are also afoot in the legislative sphere.
On March 20th, while my AUL colleagues were braving ice and sleet in front of the Supreme Court with other PCC supporters, I once again traveled to the Connecticut state capitol to testify against legislation being pushed by NARAL Connecticut. Using the same false rhetoric that resulted in the California law at issue in the NIFLA case, the Connecticut abortion industry and their legislative allies sought to use HB 5416 to give the government unprecedented power to regulate the advertisements of local PCCs. However, PCC staff, volunteers, and supporters showed up in full force to educate the Joint Committee on Public Health about the critical role they play in their communities. Pro-life supporters vastly outnumbered those from NARAL, even though the hearing lasted until 1 a.m.! Thankfully, our voices were heard – earlier this week, the Committee on Public Health allowed the clock to run out on HB 5416, effectively killing the legislation for the 2018 session.
Other states are working to honor PCCs for the care, hope, and concrete resources they provide in their communities. Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin is poised to sign a Joint Resolution, based on AUL’s own model legislation, honoring the compassionate care that PCCs offer vulnerable pregnant women and their families. Likewise, Florida Governor Rick Scott recently signed legislation providing permanent state funding for PCCs. While most PCCs are entirely funded by private donations, there are several states, such as Louisiana and Texas, that recognize the value of their contributions and have decided to provide some level of state funding to support their work.
We hope that this summer’s decision in the NIFLA case will put a halt to abortion industry attacks on PCCs, but in the meantime, AUL will continue to work with our allies in the states to celebrate and protect the ability of PCCs to offer women and their families hope during difficult times.