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California pro-life group asks court to immediately halt governor's speech censorship

ADF attorneys available to media following hearing

Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021

WHO: Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys

WHAT: Available to media following hearing in Right to Life of Central California v. Bonta

WHEN: Immediately following hearing, which begins at 1:30pm PDT, Thursday, October 28

WHERE: Hearing is taking place at the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in Fresno. Hearing is available telephonically by dialing 877-402-9757, access code 6966236 at the time of hearing (please mute your phone). To schedule an interview, contact ADF Media Relations Specialist Bernadette Tasy at 480-356-0324.

FRESNO, Calif. – Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys representing Right to Life of Central California will be available for media interviews Thursday following a hearing in federal district court regarding a lawsuit the pro-life group filed against the state of California.

The lawsuit challenges the state of California’s attempt to unconstitutionally restrict speech based on viewpoint by creating 100-foot censorship zones outside of any facility that provides any type of vaccine. Gov. Gavin Newsom recently signed SB 742 into law, immediately banning certain free-speech activities when a speaker is within 30 feet of another person and that other person is “in a public way or on a sidewalk area” and “within 100 feet of the entrance or exit of a vaccination site and is seeking to enter or exit a vaccination site.” This law restricts Right to Life’s ability to peaceably offer charitable services to women in need on the public sidewalk and street outside its own building—and even its own parking lot—because Right to Life is located next to a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic that administers the HPV vaccine.

The hearing concerns Right to Life’s request for a temporary restraining order asking the court to halt enforcement of this California state law while the lawsuit moves forward.

“California’s sweeping speech censorship law bans and punishes a substantial portion of Right to Life’s critical outreach efforts to women in need in the central California region,” said ADF Senior Counsel Denise Harle. “This new speech ban unlawfully discriminates against the peaceful advocacy of Right to Life, yet other types of speech, such as ‘lawful picketing arising out of a labor dispute,’ are permissible. This court’s immediate intervention is urgently needed to prevent Right to Life’s irreparable loss of its liberty and constitutional rights.”

Right to Life’s primary means of outreach to women considering abortion is through its Outreach Center, which is located next to Planned Parenthood Mar Monte’s main Fresno abortion clinic. Right to Life shares free resources, provides support services, and offers informational leaflets while standing on the public sidewalks in front of its Outreach Center and between the Outreach Center and Planned Parenthood’s property. The Outreach Center’s parking lot is adjacent to Planned Parenthood’s parking lot, and the two organizations share a sidewalk. Right to Life’s staff and volunteers speak kindly and peacefully with others at a normal conversational distance to share their charitable support services.

  • Pronunciation guide: Harle (HAR’-lee)

Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, and the sanctity of life.

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