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January 17, 2018

Illinois Pregnancy Centers File Brief as NIFLA Case Heads to Supreme Court

Silence Tape
Twenty-three Illinois pregnancy centers officially weighed in on National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) v. Becerra, an upcoming case before the U.S. Supreme Court, filing an amicus brief Jan. 11.

In the brief, submitted by Chicago-based Mauck & Baker, the centers note they’ve faced similar challenges in their own state with a 2016 amendment of Illinois’ Healthcare Right of Conscience Act that similarly tramples their freedom of speech.

With oral arguments slated for later this spring, the NIFLA case challenges California’s attack on pro-life pregnancy centers’ freedom of speech through the so-called Reproductive FACT Act—which requires pro-life pregnancy help medical clinics offering free ultrasounds to post signage referring clients for state-funded abortions. If pregnancy centers do not comply, they would be faced with a $500 fine for a first offense and $1,000 for any repeat offenses.

“The government has no business forcing pro-life doctors and pregnancy care centers to operate as referral agents for the abortion industry,” Noel W. Sterett, an attorney with Mauck & Baker, said in a news release. “A law that targets medical professionals because of their pro-life views and right of conscience is unconstitutional and unethical.”

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