Wednesday, December 30, 2015
Federal Courts Refuse to Enjoin Law Regulating Crisis Pregnancy Centers
RH Reality Check (Dec. 23, 2015): California Crisis Pregnancy Centers Dealt a Double Blow in Court, by Nicole Knight Shine:
Two federal judges declined to grant a preliminary injunction to block California's new reproductive disclosure law. The California Reproductive Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency (FACT) requires that pregnancy-related clinics provide notice about access to abortion and birth control. The law is designed to address crisis pregnancy centers (CPC), which discourage patients from having an abortion by lying to women about their options:
Passed by a Democrat-led legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown (D) in October, the Reproductive FACT Act, or AB 775, was enacted to regulate pregnancy-related clinics, including the nearly 350 CPCs that operate in the Golden State, according to a directory by the CPC umbrella group Heartbeat International. . . . Backers of AB 775 cited a recent undercover report by NARAL Pro-Choice California that found CPCs routinely lie about the physical and psychological risks of ending a pregnancy and delay a patient’s decision until abortion is no longer an option.
The two lawsuits challenging FACT were brought by CPCs arguing that the law violated their rights to freedom of speech, assembly and free exercise of religion. Judges in the Northern and Eastern Districts of California declined to grant a preliminary injunction. Judge Kimberly Mueller stated that "enjoining the act would interfere wight eh public interest regarding the health of state residents." Similar disclosure laws "have been met with mixed success in court." According to the article ordinances in New York City and Baltimore have been struck down while a San Francisco ordinance requiring pregnancy-related centers to tell the truth in advertisements survived a federal court challenge this year. FACT will go into effect in California on January 1, 2016.