On April 6th, we were in court for 3 hours arguing against the new California state law that requires Christian-based crisis pregnancy counseling centers to provide a notice to the young women they serve—advising the women that free and low cost abortions are available. And the notice must include a phone number to a county agency that will refer the women for an abortion. We represent the Scharpen Foundation which runs one of the pro-life counseling clinics in Riverside County. We had a very positive hearing in the Superior Court for the County of Riverside, California. The California Attorney General filed a motion asking the court to dismiss our case. We argued that we have developed sufficient facts to prove that the new law, known as the Reproductive Fact Act, intentionally discriminates against pro-life pregnancy counseling centers.
After dozens and dozens of hours of research, we have been able to uncover evidence that the new law targets these pro-life ministries. The Reproductive Fact Act essentially exempts all for-profit licensed clinics that provide medical care. The law also exempts all other licensed clinics that provide comprehensive women’s medical care—i.e. abortions. What’s left are approximately 92 licensed non-profit clinics. Approximately 82 of these are pro-life and the other 10 clinics do not provide abortions. This evidence is revealing. After exempting thousands of clinics, the law only applies to 92 clinics, including all of the 82 pro-life clinics in California. This took a lot of work, but our attorneys figured it out. Attorneys Nada Higuera and Christine Torres did a great job uncovering this evidence!
Please pray for our judge in Riverside County Superior Court. If she denies the request by the Attorney General, then we will have the opportunity to present this evidence in a full trial on the merits to prove discrimination statewide based on a clinic’s pro-life position. The judge will soon be issuing a written decision.
Meanwhile, we are also waiting on the U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether the High Court will accept our federal case for review. We have two different legal strategies ongoing.
Please continue to pray. We are in the thick of this battle—among others! If you have the ability to donate today, we could really use your financial support as well. Thank you!