VIDEO: Legislators Discuss Settlement in Aloha Pregnancy Center Case
HB942: Text, Status
PART III SECTION 3. The legislature finds and declares that the following claim for legislative relief recommended for approval as to the following named persons for claims against the State or the department of the attorney general or its officers or employees for the payment of judgments or settlements, or other liabilities, in the amount set forth opposite their name, is approved for payment:
JUDGMENTS AGAINST THE STATE AMOUNT AND SETTLEMENTS OF CLAIMS:
1. DEPARTMENT OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL:
Aloha Pregnancy Care and Counseling Center, Inc. v. Suzuki, et al.
- Civil No. 17-00343, USDC
- $ 20,344.50 Settlement
Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor, d/b/a A Place for Women in Waipio, et al. v. Suzuki, et al.
- Civil No. 17-00326, USDC
- $40,000.00 Settlement
SUBTOTAL $ 60,344.50
TOTAL (SECTION 3) $ 60,344.50
Provided that of legislative appropriation item K-20 for the department of the attorney general for fiscal year 2018-2019 in section 3 of Act 49, Session Laws of Hawaii 2017, as amended by section 3 of Act 53, Session Laws of Hawaii 2018, the general fund sum of $60,344.50 shall be expended from the fiscal year 2018-2019 budget (ATG 100, general funds) by the department of the attorney general for the purposes of this Act.
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Hawaii district court strikes down law targeting pro-life pregnancy centers
Supreme Court’s pivotal free speech ruling in NIFLA v. Becerra invalidates state law
News Release from Alliance Defending Freedom, September 21, 2018
HONOLULU – A federal district court struck down a Hawaii law forcing pregnancy centers and pro-life doctors to advertise for the abortion industry Thursday, in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision affirming free speech in NIFLA v. Becerra.
“No one should be forced by the government to express a message that violates his or her beliefs, especially on deeply divisive subjects like abortion,” said Kevin Theriot, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel and Vice President of the Center for Life. “In NIFLA v. Becerra, the Supreme Court affirmed that we don’t force people to say things they don’t believe. For that reason, the district court was correct to permanently halt Hawaii’s enforcement of Act 200’s compelled speech requirement.”
In Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor v. Suzuki, ADF attorneys challenged Senate Bill 501 (later retitled Act 200) on behalf of Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor’s pregnancy center, “A Place for Women in Waipio,” and the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates, which has five pregnancy center affiliates in Hawaii. Act 200 required pro-life pregnancy centers to direct women to a state agency that provides abortion referrals and funding. It would have required pro-life centers to post large signs or provide notice to clients that the state of Hawaii “has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services,” which include abortion-inducing drugs.
But in light of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in NIFLA v. Becerra, the Hawaii Attorney General agreed that the compelled speech mandate at the heart of the law was unconstitutional. On Thursday, District Court Judge Derrick K. Watson held as much when he declared that portion of the law unconstitutional and permanently enjoined the state of Hawaii from enforcing it.
“Hawaii’s law was particularly egregious. Not only did it force pro-life pregnancy centers to promote abortion, it also compelled a church to promote abortion inside its building,” said NIFLA President Thomas Glessner. “The state of Hawaii has acknowledged that its attempt to force pro-life centers and churches to advertise its abortion agenda was unconstitutional. This case constitutes a major victory for free speech and freedom of religion.”
“Hawaii’s pro-life, nonprofit pregnancy centers offer free practical resources, information, and emotional support to women—no matter what choices those women make,” said Derald Skinner, Pastor of Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor and President of “A Place for Women in Waipio.” “We’re grateful that the state has backed off its unconstitutional attack on our ministry. Our doors remain open and we continue to offer love, care, and compassion for all women and their precious little babies in our community.”
In NIFLA v. Becerra, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote on behalf of the majority that “the people lose when the government is the one deciding which ideas should prevail…. This Court’s precedents are deeply skeptical of laws that ‘distinguis[h] among different speakers, allowing speech by some but not others.’”
James Hochberg of Honolulu is among the nearly 3,200 attorneys allied with ADF and serves as local counsel for Calvary Chapel Pearl Harbor and NIFLA.
Alliance Defending Freedom is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization that advocates for the right of people to freely live out their faith.