The Hawaii state Senate last week approved a bill that would force the state’s five pro-life pregnancy centers to refer women to state-provided medical programs that aren’t pro-life at all.
SB 501, which passed the Senate with a vote of 22-3, would force pregnancy resource centers to post a notice that would advertise agencies that perform taxpayer-funded abortions.
The is problematic for at least one pregnancy resource center in Hawaii, because it’s located inside a church.
According to the bill, the notice must read: “Hawaii has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services including all FDA-approved methods of contraception, prenatal care and abortion for eligible women. To determine whether you qualify, contact the appropriate Med-QUEST division eligibility office.”
In addition, the notice must include the contact information of applicable agencies.
Noncompliance with the bill would be costly. First-time offenses could result in a $500 fine, and any subsequent offenses could result in a $1,000 fine.
Thomas Glessner, president of the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, said the bill was a violation of religious freedom that forced pro-life centers to go against their convictions.
“In its rush to appease Big Abortion, the Hawaii legislature is running roughshod over the First Amendment rights guaranteed to its own citizens,” president of Heartbeat International Jor-El Godsey told LifeNews.
“If the state can force its own people to violate their own deeply held religious convictions by advertising for abortions, then free speech and free religious exercise are effectively dead.”
It’s hard to disagree with that, but liberals see things from their own skewed perspective.
Planned Parenthood is, not surprisingly, in favor of the bill. The Washington Times reported that the abortion provider said pro-life pregnancy centers offer “biased, misleading and false” health care information.
California and Illinois have similar laws, and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the California law.
A companion bill is expected to pass in Hawaii’s state house, which is also Democrat-controlled.
These kinds of bills spit in the face of the First Amendment and are a disgrace to our freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
This kind of government overreach needs to stop.
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