Two meaningful triumphs rule summer 2018
In the last few weeks, a Supreme Court case and a Supreme Court nominee has energized the pro-life movement.
It is a big win for Pregnancy Centers! On July 26, 2018, the Supreme Court ruled on the landmark case NIFLA v Becerra. The 5-4 opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas held that part of California’s Crisis Pregnancy Center disclosure law is unconstitutional and violates the First Amendment adding that the notice requirement of unlicensed clinics also unduly burdens speech and is likely unconstitutional.
The advocacy group, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) sued the state of California, claiming it was a violation of its First Amendment rights. NIFLA claimed California’s Reproductive FACT Act ( for Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency) which passed in 2015, violates (often religiously affiliated) Pregnancy Centers’ First Amendment rights by requiring them to advise women about free and low-cost abortion options. The law also required unlicensed facilities to disclose whether they had medical certification, and licensed facilities were required to provide information that the state offered free or low-cost family planning services, including contraception care and abortion.
It was a narrow margin of victory. The five Justices in favor were Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., Justices Anthony Kennedy, Samuel Alito Jr., and Neil Gorsuch, which brings us to the next big win for pro-life.
On July 9, 2018, President Trump selected 53 years old, Brett Kavanaugh as a nominee to the Supreme Court. Pro-life supporters are pleased with Judge Kavanaugh, a devout Catholic and family man. His experience and reputation in over 300 decisions in DC’s Circuit Court of Appeals, have officials believing he will have bi-partisan support and be confirmed. If approved, Kavanaugh will replace retiring Justice Kennedy. There is an excitement around Kavanaugh because he is considered a staunch conservative where Justice Kennedy was viewed as a swing vote on pro-life issues.
Abortion activists were already in front of the Supreme Court, during the announcement. Pro-choice supporters are worried Kavanaugh’s appointment will lead to overturning Roe v Wade making abortion illegal. However, even if Roe v Wade is overturned, it would not make abortion illegal, the decision would go to each state to decide. The protesters were so volatile that Fox News host Shannon Bream had to cancel reporting live in front of the Supreme Court because protesters were getting physical.
Confirmation hearings are expected to begin shortly, and experts believe Kavanaugh’s appointment may take about 66 days to be confirmed.
The good fight continues.
Read Next: What Happens If Roe Falls?