Justices Back Pregnancy Centers That Oppose Abortion, in Free Speech Case
WASHINGTON — A state law requiring “crisis pregnancy centers” to supply women with information about abortion likely violates the First Amendment, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday in blocking the law.
The vote was 5 to 4, with the court’s more conservative justices in the majority.
The case, National Institute of Family and Life Advocates v. Becerra, No. 16-1140, concerned a California law that requires centers operated by opponents of abortion to provide women with information about the availability of the procedure. The centers seek to persuade women to choose parenting or adoption.
The state requires the centers to post notices that free or low-cost abortion, contraception and prenatal care are available to low-income women through public programs, and to provide the phone number for more information.
The centers argued that the law violated their right to free speech by forcing them to convey messages at odds with their beliefs. The law’s defenders said the notices combat incomplete or misleading information provided by the clinics. [...]abortion health law policy public health regulation reproductive rights women's health