Assembly Bill 1671 makes it a crime to publish confidential conversations with health care providers-even if those conversations disclose criminal activity. Moreover, the bill includes volunteers and independent contractors of abortion clinics as “health care providers.” This means anyone who posts a photo or video of an interaction with an abortion clinic employee or volunteer-including clinic escorts-could be prosecuted under the bill. AB 1671 provides for penalties of up to $10,000 per violation and one year in state prison.
Legislative analysts expressed concern that the bill violates the First Amendment, which “gives the free press the protection it must have to fulfill its essential role in democracy.” The U.S. Supreme Court has held that “prior restraints on speech and publication are the most serious and least tolerable infringement on First Amendment rights.”
AB 1671 is a direct attack on the efforts of David Daleiden and the Center for Medical Progress to expose Planned Parenthood’s illegal practice of selling fetal body parts for profit. Since the release of Daleiden’s videos, eleven states have voted to defund the nation’s largest abortion provider.
“By passing AB 1671, California legislators have demonstrated their willingness to trample on the free speech rights of their constituents in order to protect Planned Parenthood’s financial interests,” said Alexandra Snyder, Life Legal Defense Foundation’s Executive Director. “We urge the full body of the California legislature to reject this unconstitutional bill.”
The bill is also opposed by the ACLU and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, as it is an unconstitutional content-based regulation of speech.
About Life Legal Defense Foundation
Life Legal Defense Foundation was established in 1989, and is a nonprofit organization composed of attorneys and other concerned citizens committed to giving helpless and innocent human beings of any age, and their advocates, a trained and committed voice in the courtrooms of our nation. For more information about the Life Legal Defense Foundation, visit www.lldf.org.