With newly-proposed pieces of legislation, Hawaii has become the latest battleground for pro-life pregnancy centers' freedom of speech.
Bills that would force the Hawaii's pro-life pregnancy centers to speak to pregnant women in a fashion contrary to their mission are before both houses of the state's legislature. Similar laws passed in other states have been overturned, and two others are making their way through the court system.
"It establishes with the client, whether the woman is looking for help other than abortion -- whether she's looking for that online or that she walks into a pregnancy help center and she's looking for an alternative to abortion -- the first thing that she sees is a message telling her where and how she can obtain a taxpayer-funded abortion," Jay Hobbs of Heartbeat International tells OneNewsNow about the language in The Aloha State.
The pro-life centers receive no tax dollars and operate based on donations provided by people who want to support life rather than abortion.
"What this does is it effectively monopolizes abortion as the only choice for a woman in Hawaii," Hobbs summarizes. "We've seen the same thing happening in California and in Illinois as well."
Measures passed in both states are challenged in court on the basis of freedom of speech and religion, while laws in Baltimore, Maryland, and Austin, Texas were overturned as unconstitutional.