Feb 24, 2022 • 41M

Not Alone In My Own Body

Can the government force you to say something you find morally repugnant?

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Appears in this episode

Matthew S. Schwartz
Michael Vuolo
Celebrating the accidental guardians of the First Amendment. For regular updates on the legal stories that shape our lives, visit unprecedented.substack.com.
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Emily Heiden was pregnant, in a panic, and looking for advice. An internet search yielded what she understood to be a secular clinic — one she assumed would discuss her options “without politics or hype,” as the website promised. But she soon discovered that the clinic wasn’t what she thought and felt deceived. And she wasn’t the only one.

California, concerned that too many religious pregnancy centers were misleading vulnerable women, passed a law requiring them to announce that low-cost prenatal care — including abortion — was available directly from the state. But the centers sued, arguing that First Amendment protections prevented them from having to advertise abortion services.

This week, we discuss whether a state can compel you to say something you disagree with on moral grounds — from the perspective of the 2018 case NIFLA v. Becerra.