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California put on notice over 1st Amendment requirements

California lawmakers, who already have banned speech they dislike, now are moving to require pro-life crisis pregnancy centers to promote abortion or be fined $1,000.

But constitutional attorney Herbert W. Titus of William J. Olson, P.C. told WND that according to the First Amendment, you “can’t be forced to carry someone else’s message.”

California’s Democrat-controlled legislature previously became the first state to bar counselors from helping minors be healed of unwanted same-sex attractions. Counselors are allowed only to promote homosexuality to minors.

Now, California Democrats, with AB775, want to require crisis pregnancy centers, including those that are run by faith-based organizations, to actively promote abortion.

New York already tried it and was slapped down by the courts.

In that case, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals said the state could require crisis pregnancy centers to disclose whether they have a licensed medical provider on staff but not whether the center provides abortions or referrals, because that runs afoul of the First Amendment. The ruling was left untouched by the Supreme Court.

The Huffington Post characterized the California proposal as a “Bill Banning Crisis Pregnancy Centers From Misleading Patients.”

The Reproductive Fact Act, which has been approved by the House and is moving to the Senate, cited the claims of abortion activists that “crisis pregnancy centers systemically provide inaccurate or misleading information.”

But a campaign that has been organized to oppose the plan, Stop AB 775, said the lawmakers are promoting “government compelled speech.”

“AB775 forces abortion-alternative nonprofits to advertise against their organization’s mission and core values,” the campaign explains. And, it “undermines the patient & medical provider relationship by requiring that healthcare professionals at abortion-alternative licensed medical clinics provide a referral to an agency that determines eligibility for state funded abortions BEFORE the woman is even seen by the healthcare professional.

“This is bad medical practice,” the campaign says.

‘Sinful and tyrannical’

Titus, who has taught constitutional law, common law and other subjects for decades at several universities, said it’s “not the government’s business to force anybody to carry the message of anyone else.”

“That is certainly what’s being done here.”

Thomas Jefferson, he noted, described that very action as “sinful and tyrannical.”

“It’s fairly typical of California, [which is] always on the cutting edge of making us more and more like a fascist country, in which the state determines what we can say and what we can’t say,” Titus told WND.

Titus also has served as a trial attorney and special assistant U.S. attorney with the Department of Justice. He holds degrees from Harvard and the University of Oregon and for several years had his own daily radio program. He has testified on constitutional issues before Congress and state legislatures.

The California bill makes no attempt at accommodation.

It would “require a licensed covered facility, as defined, to disseminate a notice to all clients, as specified, stating, among other things, that California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services, prenatal care, and abortion.”

It also requires the notice to be a certain size and type in “a conspicuous place.”

Already, several thousand Californians have signed a petition opposing the state speech requirement, and the proposal has become known as the “Bully Bill.”

LifeNews.com reported one opponent was Assemblyman Jim Patterson, R-Fresno.

“Privately funded pregnancy resource centers, and the compassionate women who volunteer at them, have a First Amendment right to freedom of speech. And it is our duty as officers of the state of California to protect that right, not to assault it.”

Lori Arnold of the California Family Alliance blasted the plan.

“Abortion profiteers like Planned Parenthood and NARAL are still not content with state taxpayers as their sugar daddy. They are now pushing new discriminatory regulations that would force local pregnancy care centers and clinics … to advertise and promote chemical and surgical abortions.”

The centers, she said, would be “coerced” into such statements.