On August 31, the California legislature sent a bill to Governor Jerry Brown’s desk that could throw whistleblowers and pro-life investigators in jail. Written by Planned Parenthood, it has been opposed by The Los Angeles Times and the ACLU – two prominent organizations that back abortion – on free speech grounds.
Days later, President Barack Obama proposed a regulation that would, according to Huffington Post, “permanently” prevent states from defunding Planned Parenthood. The regulation says that states may not take away Title X birth control and abortifacient funding – most of which goes to Planned Parenthood – from any groups over philosophical or ideological differences, such as the scientific truth that abortion kills unborn children.
In other words: If you’re a taxpayer who might want your tax dollars to not fund abortion-inducing drugs and devices, you’re out of luck. This is unlike “about 9,000 providers” who lost state funding in the last couple of decades, according to Alliance Defending Freedom attorney Casey Mattox. Mattox told Congress that while “in most of these cases, they’re completely uncontroversial,” only Planned Parenthood receives federal protection, “a privilege that other providers don’t get to have.”
These are just the latest efforts by Planned Parenthood and its well-funded allies in government to restrict free speech by pro-life Americans. Planned Parenthood has backed the Obama administration’s HHS Mandate that requires nuns, priests, religious health and educational institutions, and for-profit business owners and employees to pay for abortion-inducing drugs and devices. The mandate lost in the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2014 Hobby Lobby case, and was knocked down to lower courts by the Supreme Court earlier this year.
Yet Planned Parenthood stands by it, demanding that private citizens use their private dollars to pay for things they morally oppose.
Bubble and barrier zones that limit pro-life advocates’ ability to make their case while on public property are in place across the country, with Planned Parenthood’s backing, while no such restrictions apply to abortion workers and volunteers. In fact, in Chicago, Planned Parenthood donated birth control and abortifacients so its supporters could stand on Hobby Lobby’s private property and distribute these items.
Additionally, a number of cities and states around the country have attempted to force pro-life pregnancy care centers to recommend abortions. The California version of this law has been supported by Planned Parenthood, which has hypocritically joined NARAL in opposing pro-life investigations while using NARAL’s “investigations” to target pro-life speech.
Planned Parenthood’s cherry-picked sensitivity to free speech infringements aren’t limited to undercover investigations. The group sued Ohio to retain state funding, with its lawyers declaring eliminating funding would constitute harm to Planned Parenthood’s free speech. The same is true in Utah, and elsewhere.