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Center For Reproductive Rights Says First Amendment Does Not Cover Right To “Deceive Women”

Robin Marty

The reproductive rights legal advocacy group will file an appeal over the recent decision to forbid crisis pregnancy centers from posting signs saying they don't provide or refer for abortions.

The Center for Reproductive Rights has announced that it is requesting a new hearing over a recent court decision striking down a Baltimore law requiring crisis pregnancy centers (CPCs) to post signs stating that they do not provide nor refer clients for abortions or birth control.  The law was opposed by anti-choice activists who claimed that forcing CPCs to be honest about not providing the actual services with which they lure women through their doors in the first place violated their rights to free speech.

CRR President and CEO Nancy Northup disagreed with that argument. “We wholly disagree with the panel’s decision that crisis pregnancy centers have a First Amendment right to deceive women about the kinds of services they offer,” said Northup in a statement.

“This ordinance safeguards women’s ability receive truthful medical information to make fully informed choices about their reproductive health. We are confident the full court will agree and ultimately uphold Baltimore’s ordinance regulating the often-deceptive practices of crisis pregnancy centers in the city.”

Crisis pregnancy centers, which are often located near to or across the street from and have similar names as full service reproductive health clinics, often use deceptive tactics on patients who assume that CPCs are in medical centers offering a variety of family planning resources. That so many of these same centers advocate the need for a woman to have as much information as possible before making personal health decisions are fighting tooth and nail to withhold information about themselves under the guise of “free speech” makes it clear that the real motive is to manipulate a woman’s reproductive choices by any means necessary.

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