Chairman of U.S. Bishops’ Pro-Life Committee Praises Supreme Court’s Respect for Free Speech in NIFLA v. Becerra Decision

June 26, 2018 By Public Affairs Office

WASHINGTON—Today, the U.S. Supreme Court decided thecase of National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra.This case challenges a California law forcingpro-life pregnancy centers to provide free advertising for the abortionindustry. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in favor of NIFLA under theFree Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan of New York,chair of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' (USCCB) Committee on Pro-LifeActivities, issued the following statement praising the ruling:

"In an important victory for the free speech rights ofpro-life organizations, the Supreme Court today has affirmed that that theFirst Amendment protects the right of all organizations to choose forthemselves not only what to say, but what not to say. This includesallowing pro-life pregnancy care centers to continue providing life-affirmingsupport to both mother and child without being forced by governments to providefree advertising for the violent act of abortion in direct violation of thecenter's pro-life convictions.  The decision is an important developmentin protecting pro-life pregnancy centers from future efforts to compel speechin violation of their deeply held beliefs."

The USCCB and several other groups fileda friend-of-the-court brief before the Supreme Court supporting the pro-lifepregnancy centers in this important free speech case. The other groups are theCalifornia Catholic Conference, the Catholic Health Association of the UnitedStates, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the Christian Legal Society andAgudath Israel of America. The full text of the brief is available online:


Keywords: U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops,USCCB, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, CardinalTimothy M. Dolan, Pro-Life Activities Committee, Supreme Court of the UnitedStates (SCOTUS), California Catholic Conference, Catholic Health Association,Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, Christian Legal Society, Agudath Israel ofAmerica. Free Speech clause, First amendment, U.S. Constitution, pro-lifeorganization, free speech rights, pro-life pregnancy centers, pregnancy carecenters


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Judy Keane