News Abortion

Court Rules Telling CPCs Not To Lie Violates Free Speech

Robin Marty

Baltimore cannot tell crisis pregnancy centers that they must post statements outside their buildings saying they do not provide abortions, judges rule.

A panel of judges have ruled that asking crisis pregnancy centers to be upfront and post signs outside their centers stating that they do not provide or refer for abortions violates first amendment rights.

Via Business Week:

In a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Appeals Court in Richmond today upheld a lower court ruling that bars Baltimore from enforcing a 2009 law requiring “limited-service pregnancy centers” to visibly disclose their stance on abortion and birth control.

Among those challenging the ordinance was the Pregnancy Center, which operates two locations in the city promoting abstinence, Bible studies and classes in prenatal development. The Pregnancy Center said it doesn’t provide abortion referrals due to its moral and religious beliefs.

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“In compelling that speech, the Pregnancy Center is, in this case, required to participate in the city’s effort to tell pregnant women that abortions are available elsewhere as a morally acceptable alternative, contrary to the moral and religious beliefs of the Pregnancy Center,” according to the majority ruling written by U.S. Circuit Judge Paul Niemeyer and joined by Judge G. Steven Agee.

How posting a sign saying they do not provide abortion or birth control constitutes centers being forced to say abortions are “morally acceptable” is unclear.

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