Sisters Of Life Successful In Stand Against State Intrusion

An order of nuns has won a court decision that prevents the state of New York from harassing it with onerous, intrusive demands for information about its pro-life ministry to pregnant women.

According to Fox News, a federal court ordered the state to refrain from seeking information from the Sisters of Life pursuant to the Pregnancy Center Report Law (PCRL). As Albany Update’s readers and listeners may recall, the PCRL is an anti-life law that New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms (NYCF) strongly opposed. Nevertheless, the law was enacted last year. The PCRL allows the New York State Department of Health to request and obtain information from pro-life pregnancy centers about their affiliations, funding sources, services, staff, and clients. NYCF believes that the purpose behind the PCRL is twofold: To harass pro-life pregnancy centers and distract them from their ministry to pregnant women and to gather information that could be used in a future effort to shut down pro-life pregnancy centers altogether.

The Sisters of Life reportedly “provide the needy with baby items, housing, health care, counseling, legal advice, employment, education and even handy-man services.” After the state asked the Sisters of Life to disclose information about its pro-life ministry, the Sisters of Life reportedly sued the state in September 2022. Recently, the Sisters won a court order with which the state has agreed to comply. According to Sr. Maris Stella of the Sisters for Life, complying with the state’s inquiry “would’ve violated their trust and relationships with the women they care for…”

NYCF thanks the Lord for the Sisters of Life’s legal victory. While the court’s decision was based on legal technicalities that might or might not apply to other pro-life pregnancy centers, NYCF encourages pro-life pregnancy centers throughout New York to take a posture of respectful, principled resistance to information requests that they may receive pursuant to the PCRL.

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