Earlier this week, Liberty Institute concluded a two-day federal court bench trial challenging the constitutionality of a recently enacted city ordinance in Austin, TX that unfairly targets Christian, pro-life pregnancy resource centers (PRCs), requiring them to post a sign at their front entrances with a false and misleading message about the services that they do not provide. Liberty Institute presented witnesses and arguments defending the religious liberty and free speech rights of the PRCs. US District Judge Lee Yeakel is expected to issue his ruling in the case within the next 60 days.
A new city ordinance was passed requiring PRCs to post a sign stating abortion referrals and emergency contraception are not offered, according to a LifeSite News report. Such a sign is the equivalent to Planned Parenthood stating it only offers abortion service not actual pregnancy services. Most people already know what each type offers. Also noted in the report, the city ordinance was the result of efforts by pro-abortion lobbyists (read: Planned Parenthood proponents). In other words, pro-abortionists don’t like the competition for the life of the unborn.
This seems a little like Moses contending with Egypt’s Pharoahs for the life of the Jewish people. Remember, a lot of Jewish boys were aborted by force in the ancient kingdom of bondage.
There is hope in Austin.
Jeff Mateer, Liberty Institute’s general counsel said, “We are pleased how the case was tried this week. The evidence presented demonstrates the great work that each of the Austin pregnancy resource centers is doing in assisting women in need with truthful and accurate information enabling them to make informed decisions. We are hopeful that the Court will follow the well-established constitutional law and declare the ordinance unconstitutional.”
While we await the official ruling, please pray for this case, as it will set important precedent for religious liberty nationwide. Austin is the fourth local government in the United States to pass such an ordinance, and while Federal Courts have blocked their enforcement in all prior instances it is still likely that the U.S. Supreme Court will eventually be asked to address this issue.
Sources: Liberty Watch, April 12, 2012 and LifeSiteNews, April 9, 2012.