The Supreme Court scored a huge win for pro-life supporters on Tuesday with a 5-4 decision to throw out a California law that required pregnancy centers to advertise abortions.
The court sent the case back to a lower court where the pro-life argument is expected to win as the law violates the First Amendment.
The 2015 California law, called the Reproductive FACT Act, forced pro-life clinics to post notices on their walls promoting free or low-cost abortions. Failure to post these notices would result in steep fines or even getting shut down.
The ruling is being hailed as a key victory for freedom of speech and freedom of religion.
“This is a victory for freedom of speech, freedom of expression and for countless unborn babies,” said Dr. Russell Moore, the president of the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention.
“We should be grateful for this ruling, and we ought to pray for the crucial work of pregnancy resource centers around the country,” he continued.
"We applaud the US Supreme Court for sending a clear statement today that pro-life Americans cannot be discriminated against and targeted by the government. The state of California's insidious effort to prevent pregnancy care centers from helping suffering women is appalling," said Penny Nance, president of Concerned Women For America.
"To be clear, this case was not about abortion,” she continued. “Malicious abortion politics definitely were the motivation behind it, but the case centered on the inappropriate mandate of the state compelling pro-life clinics to promote abortion in violation of their consciences. The case was about forced speech."
"Today's decision from the Supreme Court is a resounding reaffirmation of free speech principles and a sharp rebuke to the California Legislature," said Brad Dacus, president of the Pacific Justice Institute.
"The so-called Reproductive FACT Act was never about objectivity or information—it was a blatant attempt to coerce pro-life advocates into promoting the very thing they abhor,” he continued. “We are gratified that the Supreme Court rewarded our efforts over the last several years to defeat this insidious legislation."
With the close 5-4 decision, the ruling was unlikely to pass without newly appointed Justice Neil Gorsuch, who was appointed by President Donald Trump in 2017.