December 5, 2023

Pro-Life Pregnancy Center Sues Washington for Unconstitutional Investigation

On November 30, two pro-life pregnancy resource centers filed a lawsuit against the Washinton state attorney general for conducting an unwarranted spontaneous investigation into their legal activities.

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson's investigation requested that Obria Group and Obria Medical Groups PNW answer various questions and provide documents regarding legal activities spanning back to January 1, 2010. Ferguson's office claims it is conducting a civil investigation into "possible" violations of Washington's Consumer Protection Act.

The non-profits, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, argue that the investigation does not appear to be based on a complaint or any substantive evidence of wrongdoing. They argue that Ferguson is punishing the organizations for holding opposing political views.

“The U.S. Constitution protects Obria Group and Obria Medical Groups PNW’s right to freely speak their beliefs, freely exercise their faith, freely associate with like-minded individuals and organizations, and continue to provide services in a caring and compassionate environment to women and men facing difficult pregnancy circumstances,” said ADF Senior Counsel Tim Garrison. “Our clients have already expended exorbitant time and financial resources trying to comply with the unreasonable demands made by Washington’s attorney general and we urge the court to swiftly halt his unlawful actions.”

A press release from Alliance Defending Freedom further states that Ferguson requested documents that are unrelated to the investigation's stated purpose and go beyond the statute of limitations.

This political prosecution of pro-life pregnancy centers is reminiscent of Illinois SB1909, which threatens pro-life pregnancy centers with spontaneous investigations at the Illinois Attorney General's whim. That law, signed by pro-abortion Gov. JB Pritzker (D) in July, was temporarily blocked pending the result of a lawsuit.

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