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National Legal Summit
Created Equal: Reflections on the Unalienable Right to Life

NIFLA v. Harris

NIFLA Law Suit Against the State of California

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Appeal to Supreme Court Filed

March 24, 2017

NIFLA has now filed an appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) requesting it to overturn the ruling of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which denied our request for a preliminary injunction against the state of California. Our suit is seeking to have SCOTUS declare the law passed by California in 2015 unconstitutional. If upheld, the law requires prolife medical clinics to become, under penalty for violation, abortion referral agencies.

NIFLA is thankful for the work of Alliance Defending Freedom for representing us in this case.

We expect to hear from SCOTUS by the end of August whether or not our appeal will be heard. If our appeal is accepted, then arguments will be held sometime this fall and a decision will be rendered within the next 12 months. The future of prolife pregnancy centers will be determined by the outcome of this case.

Our network now numbers nearly 1,450 pregnancy centers in all fifty states. This dynamic network is playing a crucial role in achieving a culture of life in America. To support NIFLA’s work to equip, protect and defend this life-affirming network visit our donor page.


National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA) Sues California for Passage of Anti-Pregnancy Center Law

October 14, 2016

In light of the 9th Circuit Court’s ruling today against pro-life pregnancy care centers, Supreme Court bar attorney and National Institute for Family and Life Advocates president Thomas Glessner has released the following statement:

“It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that the liberal Ninth Circuit Court three judge panel upheld California’s violation of federal law, the U.S. Constitution, and human rights,” said Glessner. “The ‘Reproductive FACT Act’ forces pregnancy resource centers and medical clinics to violate consciences, free speech, and religious beliefs. This violation of the foundational roots of the American Republic will not stand.”

Glessner concluded: “There are pending legal options to pursue, and we are discussing with our attorneys our most effective options. This battle is far from over.”

June 16, 2016

Tuesday’s hearing about AB775 before the 9th Circuit went well. Our attorney Matt Bowman from ADF did a fantastic job answering the Judges’ questions and arguing why the law is unconstitutional. Tom was there with Matt as he made his final preparations for arguments to be heard. We do not know when the Court will issue their opinion but will keep you posted as soon as they do. Keep praying for justice.

Thank you for praying and staying updated. It is such a wait and see game. This is just for the injunction. It is a long process.

If you are interested in the hearing, it is posted on the court’s website:

October 14, 2015

Fredericksburg, Virginia: The National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFLA), a national legal network of 1,430 prolife pregnancy centers, filed a lawsuit on Monday in Federal District Court in Southern California seeking an injunction against the State of California over the passage of an anti-pregnancy center bill.

AB 775, “The Reproductive Fact Act”, signed into law last Friday by Governor Jerry Brown, mandates that medical prolife pregnancy centers post a notice in their waiting room in 22 point type or provide written or digital information to their patients on how to obtain a state funded abortion. Non-medical pregnancy centers must also post in 48 point type a statement saying that they are not medical and that they have no physician on staff.

Violation of this law results in a fine of $500 for a first offense and then $1,000 for each subsequent offense. The law was heavily supported and promoted by Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby and will go into effect on January 1, 2016.

NIFLA has 115 pregnancy center members in California — 77 are licensed medical clinics. Virtually all of its membership are religious organizations and oppose, on religious principle, providing referrals for abortion. NIFLA is seeking an immediate preliminary injunction against enforcement of the law and eventually a permanent injunction.

NIFLA, the Plaintiff in the action, is represented by the Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF). Anne O’Connor, NIFLA’s Vice President of Legal Affairs and a licensed California attorney, is serving on the legal team for the law suit.

Thomas Glessner, J.D., President of NIFLA, stated the following: “This Act is an outrageous unconstitutional violation of the rights of free speech and freedom of religion for our California members. The Act unconstitutionally forces prolife pregnancy centers, on pain of government penalty, to engage in government disclaimers that they would not otherwise provide, and to provide abortion referral information to their patients/clients. It further violates the federal Coats-Snowe Amendment, which prohibits requiring medical clinics to make referrals for abortion.”

Anne O’Connor, Vice President of NIFLA, stated: “We cannot allow this intrusion into the religious freedom of our prolife members in California. If this Act is not successfully challenged then other states, prompted by Planned Parenthood and the abortion industry, will pass similar legislation forcing prolife pregnancy centers to become abortion referral agencies.”

For further information call NIFLA at 540-372-3930.

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