The California Assembly Education Committee plans to hold a hearing this Wednesday on a bill to make private and public school students billboards for abortion. AB 624 introduced by Assemblyman Jesse Gabriel (D-Van Nuys), would force all public and private middle, high school, and colleges to print a “sexual or reproductive health hotline” on the back of student IDs. Although this bill does not define the term “sexual or reproductive health hotline,” the term “reproductive health services” is repeatedly defined in state law as including “termination of a pregnancy.”
“A content-based law like AB 624 violates the right to free speech,” said Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) Attorney Matt Sharp, who plans to testify against the bill on Wednesday. “Forcing private schools to produce, and students to wear, speech on controversial subjects like reproductive health and sexuality requires them to communicate content that they do not wish to speak.”
If California wants to publicize reproductive and sexual health hotlines, it is free to purchase its own advertising to do so,” he said. “But it cannot commandeer students and private schools and colleges to be its personal billboards for abortion.” Read ADF opposition memo here.
According the Assembly Education Committee staff, Asm. Gabriel promised to amend his bill in committee to remove the requirement that private 7-12 grade school IDs need to list a “sexual or reproductive hotline.” But the requirement would still remain for Christian institutions of higher learning, and for all public 7-12 grade and college student IDs.
That doesn’t sit well with the president of William Jessup University, who runs a Christian university just 30 miles north-east of the state capitol in Rocklin.
“William Jessup University is committed to providing all of our students a safe and loving community in the context of the Biblical covenant that we have all signed,” explained President John Jackson. “We urge the State to continue to respect our constitutional right to the free exercise of our religious convictions in the provision of higher education and creating a culture of life. Jessup does not, and will not, advocate for abortion or abortion providers.”
Planned Parenthood, the largest abortion provider in the United States, is a big supporter of Asm. Gabriel, and would benefit greatly from the free advertising this bill would provide its sexual and reproductive health (text/chat) hotline.
Not only did Planned Parenthood endorse Gabriel for his Assembly seat, but it gave him over $4000 for his election campaign.
Call to Action
A hearing on AB 624 is planned in the Assembly Education Committee this Wednesday, April 10th.
Please make sure you call the members of this committee and tell them:
* AB 624 is unconstitutional because it compels private organizations to promote a government message.
* Planned Parenthood shouldn’t be given the opportunity to get free advertising on student ID cards to promote abortion and sexual immorality.
Assembly Education Committee member phone numbers:
- Patrick O’Donnell (Chair) (D – Long Beach) (916) 319-2070
- Kevin Kiley (Vice Chair) (R – Folsom) (916) 319-2006
- Ash Kalra (D – San Jose) (916) 319-2027
- Kevin McCarty (D – Sacramento) (916) 319-2007
- Christy Smith (D – Santa Clarita) (916) 319-2038
- Shirley N. Weber (D – San Diego) (916) 319-2079