Supreme Court to hear crisis pregnancy centers' appeal

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"California has a compelling interest in informing pregnant women when they are using the medical services of a facility that has not satisfied licensing standards set by the state", Judge Nelson wrote.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday agreed to consider a conservative challenge to a controversial California law that requires pregnancy "crisis centers" to post information about state-provided abortion and contraception options. Care Net's brief said the FACT Act targeted pregnancy crisis centers, given the state's lack of regulations on abortion; California is one of about a dozen states that don't require parental consent for a minor to get an abortion, for example.

Next month, the court will hear arguments in another First Amendment case.

The defense cited this figure in support of the Reproductive FACT (Freedom, Accountability, Comprehensive Care, and Transparency) Act.

Anti-abortion group NIFLA - the National Institute of Family and Life Advocates - filed a legal challenge to the Reproductive FACT Act, saying that it forces clinics to promote or advertise abortion services. It requires licensed and covered facilities to give all their clients notice that the state "has public programs that provide immediate free or low-priced access to comprehensive family planning services, prenatal care, and abortion, for eligible women".

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According to the law, the notice must read, "California has public programs that provide immediate free or low-priced access to comprehensive family planning services (including all FDA-approved methods of contraception), prenatal care, and abortion for eligible women". Both were struck down, in 2014 and 2016, as free speech violations. The court said the law is "ideological in intent" and violates doctors' free-speech rights.

The U.S Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld the law, noting that the Supreme Court in the 1992 Casey decision had upheld state requirements that physicians provide patients with state-compelled notices.

The Supreme Court found that women have a constitutional right to an abortion in the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade. "They claim that in order to meet some arbitrary standard of "non-deception" (a standard that only those critics themselves have created), pregnancy centers should have large, publicly visible signs on their buildings stating that they do not perform or refer for abortions".

Glessner said that California pro-life centers should not be penalized for doing their job in suggesting to women alternatives to abortion.

The challengers say the law violates the First amendment because it forces the faith-based pregnancy centers to send a message that conflicts with their aim of encouraging childbirth, not abortion.

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