An organization that operates pro-life pregnancy centers in New Jersey asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear a case involving what the centers’ petition calls an “improper” and “unlawful” subpoena by state Attorney General Matthew Platkin.

Alliance Defending Freedom, a Christian legal firm known as ADF, filed a petition with the high court Feb. 26 on behalf of First Choice Women’s Resource Centers, asking it to force a lower court to hear the case.

A federal district court judge dismissed the pregnancy resource organization’s case Feb. 15, citing “lack of jurisdiction.”

In December, Platkin, a Democrat, subpoenaed First Choice Women’s Resource Centers, which operates five pregnancy centers by that name in the state, over what he called potential violations of the New Jersey Consumer Fraud Act.

“With zero justification, the attorney general is unlawfully targeting and harassing First Choice, simply because the resources it provides help women in need continue their pregnancies rather than abort their unborn children,” ADF legal counsel Tim Garrison said Friday in a written statement to The Daily Signal. 

The District Court incorrectly denied First Choice’s right “to address their claims in federal court,” Garrison said, “and should not affirm AG Platkin’s abuse of power after he initiated an illegitimate and harassing investigation without evidence.”

Garrison said pro-life pregnancy centers and pro-life advocates across the nation “hope that the Supreme Court will step in and provide relief, requiring the District Court to decide this case and resolve the issue in the lower courts.”

ADF’s lawsuit on behalf of First Choice argues that Platkin didn’t cite any complaints and is conducting an “exploratory probe.” This “improper” action violates the First Amendment rights of the pro-life organization, the suit claims.

Images from inside a First Choice Pregnancy Resource Center (Photos: Alliance Defending Freedom)

Platkin, known for actively supporting abortion on demand, created a so-called Reproduction Rights Strike Force in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which overturned its 1973 ruling in Roe v. Wade.

The website of the Office of the New Jersey Attorney General says the strike force is “charged with bringing civil and criminal enforcement actions as well as developing initiatives to protect access to reproductive health care and abortion care for New Jersey residents and anyone traveling to New Jersey to access care.”

Platkin promoted a $5 million grant for the New Jersey Reproductive Training and Education Initiative, to educate and train abortion providers and ensure “an expansive pool of abortion care providers in New Jersey.”

The New Jersey attorney general recently filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court in an upcoming case involving abortion pills called FDA, et al., v. Alliance for Hippocratic Medicine.

First Choice “provides ultrasound, STD testing, baby clothes, and serves those most in need,” Garrison said.

First Choice says it offers its services free of charge and a licensed physician supervises all medical procedures.

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