Alliance Defending Freedom has filed a federal lawsuit against state Attorney General Matthew Platkin on behalf of First Choice Women’s Resource Centers over an “unfounded and burdensome subpoena” targeting the center for its religious and pro-life views.

The lawsuit seeks to block enforcement of a subpoena issued by Platkin’s office in mid-November.

According to the lawsuit, the subpoena demands First Choice provide ten years of records related to its advertising, documents about its statements on abortion pill reversal, complaints from clients, and the identities of employees, board members, volunteers, and donors. It cites New Jersey’s consumer fraud, charitable registration, and professional regulation laws as justification but does not allege any specific statutory violations.

What is Alliance Defending Freedom?

Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) is an alliance-building, non-profit legal organization committed to protecting religious freedom, free speech, parental rights, marriage and family, and the sanctity of life.

Founded in 1994, ADF has over 4,500 “network attorneys” and has played a role in 15 victories at the U.S. Supreme Court over the past decade.

Alliance Defending Freedom has two established ministry programs —Alliance Defending Church Alliance and Alliance Defending Ministry Alliance to provide legal support, assistance, training, and representation to churches and religious ministries facing threats to their religious freedoms. These programs aim to empower faith communities to stand firm in the face of legal challenges that may impact their religious liberties and ability to operate according to their beliefs.

In First Choice Women’s Resource Centers v. Platkin, filed in federal court, Alliance Defending Freedom attorneys argue that the subpoena violates its constitutional rights to free speech, free exercise of religion, freedom of association, freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, due process, and equal protection under the law.

ADF attorneys attest that Platkin, who has publicly advocated for abortion rights, is selectively targeting First Choice because of its Christian, pro-life mission and views, pointing to Platkin seeking input from Planned Parenthood on a consumer alert warning about pregnancy centers like First Choice.

The brief argues responding to the subpoena would hamper its operations, serving thousands of pregnant women and new parents each year. It also says being forced to disclose private information threatens vital relationships.

ADF Senior Counsel Lincoln Wilson says that it is unlawful for New Jersey’s attorney general to use the authority of his office to unlawfully target and harm those with whom he disagrees.

In a statement on Alliance Defending Freedom Media, Wilson said, “Attorney General Platkin has aligned himself with Planned Parenthood’s pro-abortion mission and even enlisted its help to target pro-life pregnancy centers like our client First Choice. The U.S. Constitution protects First Choice Ministry’s right to freely speak its beliefs, freely exercise its faith, freely associate with like-minded individuals and organizations, and continue to provide its free services in a caring and compassionate environment to women and men facing difficult pregnancy circumstances.”

By Manali