This week, a major federal lawsuit I filed against “Boss Bills” passed by NY State and NYC three years ago, saw a major ruling in our favor directly effecting our NY State suit, and soon will affect my NYC suit, Slattery v. Hochul.
I was the only pregnancy center director and Catholic to file this suit, and I had to do it all alone. Let me explain why I engaged the State and the City in this way … .
In the spring of 2020, during the height of the pandemic, I sued the State of New York over their ‘Boss Bill’ law, which stipulated that organizations like EMC Frontline cannot terminate pro-choice employees. How absurd!
A Direct Attack on the Free Exercise of Religion
But this law effected almost every employer in the State, meaning every pro-life group — including almost all religious schools, churches, dioceses, and etc., (with some exceptions in NYC) — would be forced to retain abortion advocates who later ‘come out’ to their bosses, clients, principals, or parishioners.
We stood up to them and “plausibly argued” that the Boss Bill violates our First and 14th Amendment rights to freedom of “expressive association,” the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit said. (Read the full articles from Bloomberg here, Fox News here, LifeSiteNews here, and this decision summary here).
This is a major ruling, coming from the second most prestigious court in the United States. It means that we have a right to associate for the purpose of engaging in First Amendment-protected activities, the Second Circuit said, like the right to worship and to petition the government free from state interference.
It also means that we have the right to communicate anti-abortion messages, which the Boss Bill sought to “impair.” Ultimately, the goal of these laws was to silence churches and the pro-life community about Life.
Snuffing Out Freedom of Association and Speech
Here is what Circuit Judge Steven Menashi wrote about Evergreen, our organizational corporate name, that includes our EMC Frontline Pregnancy centers:
Evergreen’s beliefs about the morality of abortion are its defining values; forcing it to accept as members those who engage in or approve of that conduct [abortion] would cause the group as it currently identifies itself to cease to exist.
I knew at the time that the Boss Bill was yet another attempt to wield labor laws against anti-abortion pregnancy centers to potentially cripple our speech and to infiltrate pro-aborts to destroy us from within.
This decision will force the lower federal courts to throw this law out and to legitimize our mission. We are an authentic pro-life organization. We do not refer for abortions and we never will.
We will also decide who joins our team, and we will only ever welcome like-minded folks into our fold. That is our clear constitutional right.
Will Baby-Killing Dems Double Down on Trashing the Constitution?
The ball is now in NY State Governor Kathy Hochul’s and NYC’s Mayor Eric Adams’ court. Will they push these cases all the way to the United States Supreme Court? They might want to, but it is unlikely, because they know they’d lose because the Supreme Court has already ruled in favor of expressive association and would almost certainly rightly rule in our favor.
This decision effectively eviscerates the Boss Bill.
My friend, I pledge to you that we will always stand up for our right to be an authentic pro-life organization because we will always stand up for our freedom of speech, and right to exist. And as an active and serious Catholic I will not stand to see the Church emasculated from its mission to preach the gospel of Life.
Under Siege in the Abortion Capital of America
I am facing other threats and persecutions from various NY government agencies.
For example, this spring/summer the New York Department of Health will be issuing subpoenas to pregnancy centers like EMC Frontline in an attempt to close us down as a supposed “fake clinic,” because we do not refer for abortion.
When they come, we will be ready for them.
Learn More About What We Do
We have three areas that we need support with:
- I’ve just hired two new nurses (pro-life, of course), and we spend a lot of time and money to get them properly trained on our many pro-life protocols.
- Our flagship Brooklyn location — strategically located in the same building as Planned Parenthood — is still in serious rent arrears.
- Finally, we need funds to press on with our legal battles and NY’s big abortion pill push.
And as the only Catholic in the State to take this up, I think it shows that we don’t do half measures. This is our 38th year of saving babies by offering free ultrasounds—since 1986! To learn more about us, or aid with our mission, please visit our website.
Chris Slattery pursued a dream to empower pregnant women and girls in need with real alternatives and launched Expectant Mother Care, the primary project of The Evergreen Association, Inc, in 1984. EMC was NYC’s first crisis pregnancy center and is now also known as EMC FrontLine Pregnancy Centers.