So much for the First Amendment and freedom of religion. If Democrats in Hawaii have their way, churches and pro-life crisis pregnancy centers will be forced to promote abortion.
According to the Washington Times:
In a 22-3 vote, the state’s Democrat-controlled Senate approved SB 501, which would direct “all limited service pregnancy centers to disclose the availability of and enrollment information for reproductive health services.”
For the Rev. Derald Skinner, pastor at Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor, that would mean putting a sign advertising abortion in his church.
“They want to mandate all pro-life centers to put an abortion referral sign in our reception areas,” Mr. Skinner said in a video published to the church’s Vimeo account. “Now our particular pro-life center is in our church. So it’s very important to realize that they are dictating to us what we can and cannot say. Will they give me my sermon next and tell me what I can preach?”
Here’s that video:
A companion bill is expected to pass in Hawaii’s Democrat-controlled House, the Times said.
Two other states — California and Illinois — have similar laws and, the Times reported, the liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld the California law.
The Times added:
Thomas Glessner, an attorney who heads the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, said he is working with the Alliance Defending Freedom to bring the case before the Supreme Court. He said the legislation is an “egregious violation of religious freedom.”
“The Hawaii effort to suppress free speech is especially concerning because one of the state’s pro-life centers is housed in a church — which means the church itself would be forced to refer for abortions,” Mr. Glessner said in a statement.
Naturally, Planned Parenthood supports the measure.
If passed, churches and pro-life pregnancy centers will be required to either post a sign or distribute flyers that 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.”
The measure also says the sign must be at least “eight and one-half inches by eleven inches, written in no less than twenty-two point type, and posted in a clear and conspicuous place within the center’s waiting area so that it may be easily read by individuals seeking services from the center.”
According to the Times, the flyer must include contact information of relevant state agencies and be “written or rendered in no less than 14-point type” and “distributed individually to each patient or client at the time of check-in for services.” It must be made available to individuals “who cannot or do not wish to receive the notice in a digital format.”
Churches and pro-life pregnancy centers that refuse to comply with the order would be fined $500 for the first violation and $1,000 for each subsequent one.
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