On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court announced it would take up the abortion case National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Xavier Becerra. The legal brief for Becerra — which defends a California law mandating crisis pregnancy centers post information about abortion — stated an eye-popping figure.
According to the State of California, more than half of pregnancies in the state are unintended.
“Some 700,000 California women become pregnant each year, and over half of these pregnancies are unintended,” the brief states. Let that sink in: More than half of the pregnancies in California are unintended. That means an estimated 350,000 children are accidentally conceived annually in the nation’s most populous state.
The defense cited this figure in support of the Reproductive FACT (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency) Act. The act mandates that any facility that provides ultrasounds or prenatal care to pregnant women — or that provides counseling about contraception, or offers pregnancy testing — is required to post the following notice (emphasis added):
California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the county social services office at [insert the telephone number].
The bill became law in October 2015 and mandates fines of $500 for the first offense after 30 days, and $1,000 for each subsequent offense. Every Pregnancy Resource Center (PRC) must post the notice or face government censorship.
PJ Media previously reported the case in February. At that time, NIFLA President and CEO Tom Glessner laid out his case that the FACT Act violates the First Amendment guarantee of free speech.
“In essence, the law mandates that pro-life centers become abortion referral agencies, totally against their convictions, against their foundational beliefs, compelling speech,” Glessner told PJ Media.
The State of California’s brief defends against this charge by citing the tremendous figure of unintended pregnancies.
It is nothing short of astonishing that more than half of California pregnancies are unintended. What does this say about sexual activity, motherhood, and the state of American culture in the 21st century? A state is defending the right to force PRCs to post information about abortion — because more than half of women who get pregnant every year did not intend to do so.
Perhaps instead of violating free speech, California should consider efforts to cut this astonishing rate of unintended pregnancy.