Women in Crisis Pregnancies Get Big Win in Austin

Greg Terra Stephen Casey
By Greg Terra and Stephen Casey | June 26, 2014 | 10:14 AM EDT

Incredibly, after nearly three years of litigation and waiting, pregnancy care centers in Austin, Texas, got a favorable ruling from a federal court this week that struck down an ordinance which the Austin City Council passed unanimously. The local law required pregnancy care centers to post signs outside their doors in English and Spanish stating that they did not perform abortions nor refer for them and that they weren't a medical facility.

Why weren't the abortion clinics forced to say they don't perform mammograms or provide full prenatal care and options for women who are pregnant? Or that they have no problems pushing birth control on their clients?

The answer is simple: This ordinance was specifically designed to harass pregnancy care centers whose sole mission is to provide support for women in crisis pregnancies in need of help, women who maybe have nowhere else to turn. If the pregnancy centers did not post the signs, they faced huge fines in criminal court.

Because similar ordinances in Baltimore, Maryland and New York were also recently struck down, this wasn't a new way to harass these centers that provide free care for pregnant women and their unborn babies. Yet, the ideological bent on this particular ordinance in Austin was disturbing in that it specifically went after these pregnancy care centers in such a way that was intended to close their doors for good.

With last year's contentious filibuster on abortion rights from Wendy Davis over the bill that eventually passed and was signed into law, a law that has successfully closed many abortion clinics because they were unsafe for women, it is crucial that pregnant women have someplace to turn if they are facing a crisis pregnancy.

Pregnancy care centers, like the plaintiffs in the Austin lawsuit, provide real care and compassion to women and offer them alternatives to the life-ending procedure of abortion. This is a much-needed resource for women facing an unplanned pregnancy, and this ordinance in Austin specifically tried to take it away.

This decision underscores that the pro-abortion industry may not use the law to silence their opposition; every life is valuable and the volunteers and staff of pregnancy care centers make sacrifices daily to serve these women and babies in need.

The logic of this decision extends far beyond the borders of Austin as evidenced by the coordinated, yet unsuccessful, attacks across the nation. Why? Because the pro-life viewpoint offered by pregnancy resource centers is winning naturally across this entire nation. Women, on the whole, would rather get caring and compassionate help throughout their pregnancies-at no cost-instead of paying several hundred dollars to an abortion facility to kill their unborn child. As a result, the abortion industry is losing profits and the only option was for the abortion industry to co-opt the arm of government in order to silence their opposition.

For the pro-abortion crowd who profess a "war on women" is taking place, we don't disagree. In fact, we submit that the pro-abortion lobby is part of the problem causing this war on women. Trying to take away precious resources and care from a woman in distress who is facing an unplanned pregnancy is the very definition of harm. Abortion not only ends the life of the unborn child, but it can also hold serious and devastating physical, emotional, spiritual and psychological consequences for the mother. If the pro-abortion crowd is truly "pro-choice," why not support pregnancy care centers that give women other options?

Roe v. Wade goes both ways.

Editor's Note: Greg Terra and Stephen Casey are attorneys with the Texas Center for Defense of Life and represented Austin LifeCare, one of the pregnancy care centers involved in the Austin lawsuit.