So I’ve been reading a bit about this case, and the more I read, the more it strikes me as fundamentally absurd.
We’ve already broadly established in PP v. Casey in 1991 that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with the states requiring “compelled speech” from health care providers. In this case, the California FACT act, which was struck down, required:
- Licensed medical facilities that exist to provide family planning to state that California has public programs that do what they do (and probably more) for free
- Unlicensed medical facilities that exist to provide family planning state that they are, in fact, not licensed
This law didn’t come out of nowhere. It was born out of the fact that so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” (places whose main service is not “women’s health” but “make people feel guilty about not being the right kind of Christian and dissuade them from abortion, often by lying to them” ) have been masquerading as women’s health care facilities. Now, apparently California can’t stop them from doing this outright, but surely there’s nothing wrong with demanding truth in advertising, right?
Well, apparently there is - the court ruled in a 5-4 decision that this “compelled speech” infringed on the crisis pregnancy center’s rights.
So with that in mind, a few questions.
- Why is it okay to force physicians to do everything from mention adoption agencies to show women ultrasounds before they can get an abortion if it is not okay to force an unlicensed clinic to admit that it is unlicensed?
- Why are we pretending that the distinction brought up in the majority opinion constitutes an actual difference?
- Is it not an unreasonable infringement on my free speech to demand that the homeopathic remedies I sell not claim that they cure HIV, cancer, and diabetes?
- Why should I not be allowed to claim my store is offering products for sale at prices that it is not offering? Is it not a brutal rejection of my right to free speech to say I am not allowed to claim that I’m selling Playstation 4s for $100 (even though I’m not)?
- Can we please do away with the fantasy that the supreme court is somehow “impartial”?