Victory in Austin after Federal Court Rules in Favor of Pregnancy Centers and Life

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In June, pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) in Austin won a major victory when a Federal Court ruled in their favor after the Austin City Council attempted to cripple the Life-saving efforts of these facilities.  Represented by Texas Right to Life’s capable allies at the Liberty Institute, Attorney Jonathan Saenz and his legal team represented Austin PRCs to challenge an obviously anti-Life ordinance that would have required the PRCs to “post a sign at their front entrances with a false and misleading message about the services that they do not provide,” according to a press release from Texas Values, an affiliate of Liberty Institute.

Judge Lee Yeakel, who has flip-flopped on Pro-Life issues over the last year, ruled the Austin City Council ordinance as unconstitutional.  The judge found the ordinance too vague to even be valid.  Saenz unabashedly called out the Austin City Council for bullying Pro-Lifers, and he did not mince words in his response to the ruling, saying that the Council exhibited a “complete disregard towards religious liberty and free speech, and they lost, badly.”

“The City of Austin was warned by legal experts,” continued Saenz, recalling that despite being made aware of the unconstitutionality of the ordinance in advance, the Council still pushed the attack through the process.  “This victory is a strong statement that Pro-Life centers were right all along and that legal judgment of the city cannot be trusted,” concluded Saenz.

Pregnancy resource centers exist to aid pregnant women in need.  Many of these women come to PRCs with the notion that abortion may be their only option.  Through non-judgmental counseling and the opportunity to connect with many forms of assistance throughout and after their pregnancies, women experience the reality that Life is always an attainable choice.

In 2005, Texas Right to Life led the effort to include funding for these PRCs and other Life-affirming social service agencies in our state’s budget.  Texas became the tenth state to fund alternatives to abortion, and that program has since expanded and achieved impressive service results, including Seals of Excellence Awards for non-profit fiscal efficiency.  Due to the success of the Texas alternatives to abortion program and Texas Right to Life’s successful redirection of so-called family planning funds to legitimate health care agencies in 2011, the abortion industry is still reeling and desperate to annihilate any competition in serving women.  The Austin ordinance was a way to accomplish through rule-making what the abortion advocates could not accomplish legislatively. 

PRCs are very effective at helping pregnant mothers find solace and peace in times of turmoil, and many centers provide the same services to women that abortion clinics provide—except they do it for free and do not commit abortions.  In other words, the PRCs are cutting into the client base and profit margin of abortion mills, and, consequently, these centers across the nation are constantly assaulted by the organizations that promote and profit from abortion.  Last year, NARAL Pro-Choice America launched a laughable campaign to “expose” pregnancy resource centers, decrying their charitable structure and Life-affirming methods.  NARAL’s undertaking was called “Certified Truth,” but “certifiably false” more accurately describes its bogus claims.

The Austin ordinance victoriously overturned in June was another attempt to vilify the dedicated individuals and organizations that work tirelessly to combat the deathly lies of the abortion industry.  Judge Yeakel’s ruling can be read here.

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