Congress must abandon the SAD Act (H.R. 8210/S. 4469) which would violate the free speech of pro-life pregnancy centers.
The Left has a history of seeking to destroy the free speech rights of Crisis Pregnancy Centers, known as CPCs. For instance, California and New York have tried to force them to communicate and offer clients abortion services referrals.
The Stop Anti-Abortion Disinformation Act tries the opposite approach. The bill would silence the centers with accusations of “false advertising” and huge fines. An expanded bureaucracy would “regulate” them. Sound familiar?
The SAD act, logged in the House as H.R. 8210 and in the Senate as S. 4469, starts with a list of ten false statements about abortion and CPCs. In other words, DISINFORMATION!
For example, the bill says there are too many CPCs, that abortion is an “essential component of reproductive health care,” and more abortions would be “key to the ability of an individual to participate fully in our democracy.” Seriously?
The legislation attacked CPCs for engaging in a “variety of deceptive tactics, including making false claims about reproductive health care and providers, disseminating inaccurate, misleading, and stigmatizing information about the risks of abortion and contraception.”
To top off the attack, the bill’s language calls CPCs racist. No, abortion is racist by taking the lives of black babies at a rate three times their percent of the populace!
In sum, these vague blanket accusations are set to become the basis of a federal attack on CPC’s free speech.
With those false premises in hand, SAD proponents bring in the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to do their dirty work. The FTC has never had power over services of non-profit organizations. Now they would–against the rule of law!
In fact, the bill would weaponize the Federal Trade Commission to attack such centers for communicating whatever the bureaucracy deems “disinformation” with rules that would only be made after the legislation passed.
Once again, we see a bill that the bureaucracy will use to destroy free speech!
And if passed, those FTC weapons would inflict fines of $100,000 or half the proceeding year’s revenues of the parent organization. In addition, the bill authorizes the filing of private lawsuits for damages. In other words, CPCs would become liable for millions of dollars of “damages.” And CPCs legal fees to defend themselves would skyrocket.
The net impact would be to silence and disband Crisis Pregnancy Centers by bankrupting them. That would fulfill the Left’s dreams of preventing CPCs from giving pregnant women (not “pregnant persons” as the bill calls them) the full monte of information.
Even swing-voting Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy called out such legislative items that target only one sub-group involved in pregnancy services. The Court decided these types of laws are unconstitutional.
Referring to a similar 2015 California law, Kennedy stated, “This law is a paradigmatic example of the serious threat presented when government seeks to impose its own message in the place of individual speech, thought, and expression” (emphasis added).
In conclusion, legislators need to know citizens are vehemently opposed to this First Amendment-trashing bill. And that needs to happen before any more damage is done!