Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Case Challenging California Crisis Pregnancy Center's Disclosure Regulations

November 14, 2017 |

Yesterday the United States Supreme Court agreed to hear a case challenging a California law requiring birth control and abortions options be posted in so-called crisis pregnancy centers.

That law, the California Reproductive FACT Act requires the women seeking reproductive services at licensed facilities "has public programs that provide immediate free or low-cost access to comprehensive family planning services, prenatal care, and abortion, for eligible women." When it was passed it was hailed by reproductive rights groups as a significant advancement and protection for women.

At the time of its enactment in October 2015, The National Women Law Center said the law "means that all licensed crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) in California will have to post signage that helps a woman facing an unplanned pregnancy know all of her options for getting the information she needs." The NWLC and reproductive rights groups complained that CPC's were fronts for ant-abortion groups hoping to coerce women to remain pregnant. 

The law is being challenged by the  National Institute of Family and Life Advocates (NIFIA) on free speech grounds. NIFIA argues that the disclosure requirement forces CPC's to post information about abortion services and that violates their First Amendment rights.

Last year the Ninth Circuit Court in San Francisco upheld the law in 3 - 0 decision. The newest Supreme Court Justice, Neal Gorsuch, has expressed interest in hearing so-called religious liberty cases and court watchers say the decision, in this case, could hinge on Justice Anthony Kennedy who could provide the swing vote.   


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