When AB 775 (or the “Reproductive FACT Act”) was shot down by the U.S. Supreme Court last June, hundreds of thousands of common sense-loving Californians breathed a sigh of relief. The FACT Act, signed by Governor Jerry Brown in 2015, demanded that Golden State crisis pregnancy centers — and crisis pregnancy centers alone — advertise where and how clients could get abortions. Furthermore, the centers without medical capabilities would have been required to state the obvious: that they weren’t medical centers, as if women (the same ones we’re constantly chided to trust) couldn’t figure that out without a gigantic sign.
If shelters for trafficking victims were forced to advertise job openings at local escort services, there would be a national outcry. But since the law involved abortion, it was seemingly acceptable to mandate that tiny nonprofits promote the efforts of well-funded enemies. The FACT Act was a blatant violation of First Amendment rights, and thankfully, the Supreme Court shuttered it.
So for now, the compassionate crisis pregnancy centers in California do not have to help women locate people and places to abort their children. But since then, a flurry of anti-life and anti-family laws have been proposed at the statehouse. SB 24, for example, will require that public universities provide abortion pills at student health centers. AB 1442 would reward with an extra tax credit film and production companies that decide not to work in states with pro-life laws. SR 7 and HR 6 celebrate the passage of legal abortion. AB 624 would require seventh-graders and older to have the contact information of local abortion clinics on their student IDs. Just last month, our current governor invited American women to come to California to “fully exercise their reproductive rights” (translation: have an abortion). And that’s just been the past year!
Constantly fighting on behalf of women, children and families is draining, for both the team here at Advocates and in your homes and workplaces. That’s why it’s critical to refuel with positive, life-affirming stories and resources. And when one looks around California, there is always good to be found, specifically on the prolife front.
Did you know that there are at least 155 crisis pregnancy centers in the Golden State? That’s actually more than the Planned Parenthood clinics here (at last count, approximately 108). Each pregnancy center provides resources for mother and child, ranging from medical and financial in some to educational and social in all, both before and after birth! Going deeper, Network Medical Women’s Center in Santa Barbara has a 24-hotline for abortion-minded women (805.967.9096, in case you need it). The pioneering Abortion Pill Reversal program — which has helped at least 750 women deliver a living baby after beginning a medication abortion — was developed by a San Diego County doctor.
And though you already know this, it bears repeating: it’s not just the unborn we pro-lifers care about. It’s the mothers, fathers and communities, too. That’s one reason why the founder of Advocates for Faith & Freedom, Robert Tyler and his wife lovingly bring abandoned babies into their home through a local foster to adopt program. We want to build strong families alongside our supporters. That happens through not just “getting the baby born.” It happens through demonstrating our lifelong commitment to care and sacrifice for those whom society might deem unfit or unworthy.
Let me introduce you to Crystal Kupper. I met Crystal when she wrote an article about me and my own abortion redemption story in 2018 for Focus on the Family. The Kuppers are an Air Force family who, three years ago, adopted a five-year-old daughter in a wheelchair from Armenia. Guyana had been diagnosed in utero with spina bifida and recommended for an abortion. Her first parents courageously said no, and today, Guyana is a thriving second-grader who has charmed millions through last season’s appearance on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior.
This is why we keep putting one lawyerly foot in front of the other. California is replete with ways to support life! And these include far more than just adoption (though we highly encourage you to consider becoming an adoptive family!). In every California county, there are parenting classes, clothing rooms, free baby supply boutiques, support groups, food pantries for struggling families, resource networks for pregnant students, foster support organizations, single mom events, mentor mothers, etc. for abortion-minded and struggling families. We encourage you to brag on your favorite local prolife resource by emailing us at email@example.com. Whether a woman chooses adoption or parenting, we support all life-honoring paths.
Because there is never a time to give up (Gal. 6:9),
Nada Higuera, Esq.